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Accession of Cambyses — he invades Egypt (ch. 1). Description of Egypt — Antiquity (2). 
Seats of learning (3). Inventions, &c. (4). Description of the country (5-13). 
Agriculture (14). Boundaries (15-18). The Nile — Causes of the inundation (19-27). 
Sources (28). The Upper Nile (29-31). The interior of Libya (32). Comparison 
of tbe Nile and Ister (33-4). Customs of the Egyptians — their strangeness (35-36). 
Religious customs (37-48). Connection of the religions of Egypt and Greece (49- 
57). Egyptian Festivals (58-64). Sacred animals (65-67). The Crocodile (68-70). 
The Hippopotamus (71). Otters, fish, &c. (72). The Phoenix (73). Sacred and 
winged serpents (74-75). The Ibis (76). Daily life of the Egyptians (77-80). Dress 
(81). Divination (82). Oracles (83). Practice of Medicine (84). Funerals (85-90). 
Worship of Perseus (91). Customs of the marsh-men (92-5). Egyptian boats (96). 
Routes in the flood-time (97). Anthylla and Archandropolis (98). History of Egypt — 
Men (99). His successors — Nitocris — Mceris (100-1). Sesostris — his expeditions— 
his works in Egypt (102-110). His son, Pheron (111). Proteus — story of Helen 
(112-120). Rhampsinitus (122). Doctrine of metempsychosis (123). Cheops — his 
pyramid (124-6). Chephren (127-8). Mycerinus (129-133). His pyramid — history 
of Rhodopis (134-5). Asychis (136). Anysis— Sabaco (137-40). Sethos— invasion 
of Sennacherib (141). Number of the kings (142-3). Greek and Egyptian notions 
of the age of the gods (144-6). The Dodecarchy (147-152). Psammetichus (154-7). 
Neco, his son (158-9). Psammis, son of Neco (160). Apries, son of Psammis — his 
deposition (161-9). Tomb of Osiris (170). Egyptian mysteries (171). Reign of 
Amasis (172-7). His favour to the Greeks (178-182) .... Page 1 




The Egyptians from Asia. Egyptian and Celtic. Semitic character of Egyptian. Evi- 
dences of an older language than Zend and Sanscrit. Ba or Pa, and Ma, primitive 
cries of infants, made into father and mother, m for b. Bek not to be pronounced 
by an untutored child. Bek, name of bread in Egypt. The story told to Herodotus. 
Claim of the Scythians to be an early race 234 




Chap. 4. [G. W.] 

The 12 months in Egypt. Years of 360, 365, and 365i days. The three seasons. Length 
of the year corrected. Sothic year. The year of 365 days. The dates of kings' 
reigns. The Square or Sothic year. The Lunar year. The Arab year. The Jewish 
year. Intercalation of the Egyptians and Greeks . . . Page 237 



Different orders of gods. The great gods of the first order. The second order. Place 
of Re, or the Sun. Classification of the gods. Sabaeism not a part of the Egyptian 
religion. Pantheism. Name of Re, Phrah, and Pharaoh. Position of Re in the 
second order. Rank of Osiris. Children of Seb. The third order. The other 
most noted deities. Other gods. Foreign divinities. Chief god of a city and the 
triad. Deities multiplied to a great extent — the unity. Offices of the deity — char- 
acters of Jupiter. Resemblances of gods to be traced from one original. Subdi- 
vision of the deity — local gods. Personifications — Nature gods. Sacred trees and 
mountains. Common origin of religious systems. Greek philosophy. Creation 
and early state of the earth 241 


11 WHEN MC3RIS WAS KING," &C. — Chap. 13. [G. "W.] 

Rise of the Nile 16 cubits. Differed in different parts of Egypt. Oldest Nilometer. 
The lowering of the Nile in Ethiopia by the giving way of the rocks at Silsilis. 
Ethiopia affected by it, but not Egypt below Silsilis. Other Nilometers and 
measurements. Length of the Egyptian cubit 252 



Hieratic and Demotic, the two sorts of letters written from right to left. Hieroglyphics. 
Three kinds of writing. Hieratic. Demotic, or enchorial. The three characters. 
First use of demotic. Of symbolic hieroglyphics : the ikonographic. The tropical. 
The enigmatic. Symbolic also put with phonetic hieroglyphics. Determinatives 
after the word, or name of an object. Initial letters for the whole words, to be called 
limited initial signs. Distinct from other " mixed signs." Syllabic signs'. Medial 
vowel placed at the end of a word. Earliest use of hieroglyphics. Mode of placing 
hieroglyphics. First letter of a word taken as a character. Determinative signs. 
They began with representative signs. The plural number. Abstract ideas. Pho- 
netic system found necessary. Some parts of the verb. Negative sign. Invention 
of the real alphabetic writing Phoenician. Greek letters. Digamma originally 
written. Sinaitic inscriptions not of the Israelites. Tau used for the cross. Mute- 
rials used for writing upon. The papyrus 255 



" GYMNASTIC CONTESTS." — Chap. 91. [G. W.] 

Gymnastic contests. Game of ball. Thimble-rig and other games. Mora and draughts. 
Pieces for draughts. Dice. Other games Page 270 



Greece."— Chap. 109, p. 179. [G. W.] 

Greeks indebted to Egypt for early lessons in science. Invention of geometry. Survey- 
ing, geography. Early advancement of the Egyptians in science. Thales and 
others went to study in Egypt. Pythagoras borrowed much from Egypt. Heliocen- 
tric system. Revived by Copernicus. Pythagoras and Solon in Egypt. Great 
genius of the Greeks. Herodotus unprejudiced. The dial. The twelve hours. The 
division of the day by the Jews, Greeks, and Romans. The Egyptians had 12 hours 
of day and of night. The week of seven days in Egypt. The Aztec week of nine 
days. The seven-day division in Egypt. The number seven. Division by ten. 
Greek and Egyptian month and year of three parts 277 



Fabulous period of history — Rule of the gods — Name of Menes ; supposed to be Miz- 
raim — Believed to be a real person by the Egyptians, and to have founded Memphis. 
This and Memphis— Egyptians from Asia — Memphis older than Thebes. Precedence 
of Upper Egypt. Earliest notice of Thebes — Absence of early buildings. Contem- 
porary kings — Arrangement of the early dynasties. Uncertainty of chronological 
dates — Date of the Exodus. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd dynasties— Menes and his successors. 
In the 2nd dynasty sacred animals worshipped ; and women allowed to hold the 
sceptre. 4th and 5th dynasties. The same customs in the early Pyramid period- 
Mount Sinai — Shafre built the 2nd pyramid. 6th dynasty — The prenomen of kings. 
7th, 8th, and 9th dynasties — The JSaentefs. 11th dynasty — Contemporary kings. 
12th dynasty — Osirtasen III. treated as a god. The labyrinth. The 13th dynasty 
in Ethiopia. Shepherd dynasties— The Hyk-sos expelled. The 18th dynasty — The 
horse from Asia. Thothmes I., II., and III., and Queen Amun-nou-het. Conquests 
of Thothmes III. — His monuments. Amunoph III. and Queen Taia— The Stranger 
kings — Conquests of Amunoph III. Country and features of the Stranger kings- 
Related to Amunoph. Expelled from Egypt. King Horus. The 19th dynasty— 
Remeses, Sethos, and Remeses the Great — Attack and defence of fortresses — Pithom 
and Raamses — Canal to the Red Sea. 20th dynasty— Remeses III. — His conquests 
and wealth — His sons. 21st and 22nd dynasties — Priest kings. Sheshonk, or Shis- 
hak — Conquers Judaea — Name of Yudah Melchi (kingdom of Judab). Kings' names 
on the Apis stelae. The 23rd dynasty — Assyrian names of the Sheshonk family. 
The 24th dynasty — Bocchoris the Sa'ite — Power of Assyria increasing. The 25th 
dynasty of the Sabacos and Tirhaka. The 26th dynasty — Psammetichus succeeded 
Tirhaka — Correction of chronology — He married an Ethiopian princess. War of 
Psammetichus and desertion of his troops. Succeeded by Neco. Circumnavigation 
of Africa — Defeat of Josiah. Power and fall of Apries — Probable invasion of Egypt 
and substitution of Amasis for Apries by Nebuchadnezzar. Amasis — Flourishing? 
state of Egypt — Privileges granted to the Greeks— Treaty with Croesus — Persian in- 
vasion. Defeat of the Egyptians — Conduct of Cambyses at first humane. Egypt 



became a Persian province— 27th or Persian dynasty — Revolt of the Egyptians. 
28th and 29th dynasties of Egyptians. 30th dynasty of Egyptians — Nectanebo II. 
defeated. Ochus recovered Egypt. Duration of the Egyptian kingdom. Page 284 



Causes of quarrel between Persia and Egypt — Nitetis story (1-3). Aid lent by Phanes 
(4). Passage of the Desert (5-9). Invasion of Egypt — Psammenitus king (10). 
Murder of the children of Phanes — Battle of Pelusium (11). Egyptian and Persian 
skulls (12). Siege and capture of Memphis — submission of the Libyans and Cyren- 
aeans (13). Treatment of Psammenitus (14-15). Treatment of the body of Amasis 
(16). Expeditions planned by Cambyses (17-8). Phoenicians refuse to attack Car- 
thage (19). Embassy to the Ethiopians (20-4). Expedition fails (25). Failure of 
the expedition against Ammon (26). Severities of Cambyses towards the Egypt- 
ians (27-9). His outrageous conduct towards the Persians (30-5). His treatment 
of Croesus (36). His madness (37-8). History of Polycrates — his connection with 
Amasis (39-43). He sends ships to assist Cambyses (44). Revolt of the crews — 
Samos attacked (45). Aid sought from Sparta and Corinth (46-7). Story of Peri- 
ander (48-53). Siege of Samos (54-6). Fate of the rebels (57-9). "Wonders of Sa- 
mos (60). Revolt of the Magi — usurpation of the Pseudo-Smerdis (61). The news 
reaches Cambyses — his wound, speech, and death (62-6). Reign of the Magus (67). 
His detection by Otanes (68-9). Otanes conspires — arrival of Darius (70). Debate 
of the conspirators (71-3). Fate of Prexaspes (74-5). Overthrow of the Magi 
(76-9). Debate on the best form of government (80-2). Decision of Otanes (83). 
Privileges of the Six (84). Darius obtains the kingdom (85-7). His wives (88). 
Division of the Empire into twenty Satrapies (89-93). Amount of the tribute (94-7). 
Customs of the Indians (98-105). Productiveness of the earth's extremities 
(106-116). The river Aces (117). Fate of Intaphernes (118-9). Story of Oroetes 
and Polycrates (120-5). Punishment of Oroetes (126-8). Democedes of Crotona 
cures Darius (129-130). His former history (131). His influence— he cures Atossa 
(132-3). Atossa at his instigation requests Darius to invade Greece (134). Persians 
sent to explore the coasts — Democedes escapes (135-8). Persian expedition against 
Samos to establish Syloson (139-149). Revolt, and reduction of Babylon by the 
stratagem of Zopyrus (140-8). Punishment of the rebels (159). Rewards of Zopy- 
rus(160) 331 




1. Alilat. — Mylitta or Alitta, from weled, "to bear children." 2. Had different names in 
different countries. 3. A Nature-Goddess. 4. The Syrian Goddess. 5. The Paphiau 
Venus, or Urania, identified with Astarte and Anaitis. 6. Tanat, or Anata. 7 Diana 


of Ephesus. 8. The mother and child. 9. Alitta and Elissa. 10. Gods of the Khonds. 
11. Maut the mother. 12. Juno-Lucina, Diana, and Astarte. 13. Europa and Cad- 
mus. 14. Semiramis the dove. 15. Derceto or Atargatis. 16. Athara and Athor. 
17. Inscription at Caervorran, and names of the Syrian Goddess. IS. Figure of 
Astarte. 19. Baal, Moloch, and other deities of Syria. 20. Arcles, Melicertes, or 
Hercules. 21. Rimmon, and other Syrian deities — Some introduced into Egypt. 

Page 444 



1. Ordinary theory on the subject — the revolution a Median outbreak. 2. Proofs to the 
contrary — (i.) from the inscriptions — (ii.) from the general tenor of ancient history. 
3. Unsound basis of the theory — the Magi not Medes. 4. The revolution really 
religious. 5. Proof of this from the inscriptions. 6. Religious ideas connected with 
the name of Darius ........ 453 



1. Uniformity of Oriental Governments. 2. Satrapial system of Persia. 3. Danger of 
revolt — safeguards. 4. Power and wealth of the Satraps. 5. Institution of Royal 
Judges. 6. Fixity of the royal revenue. 7. The border Satraps. 8. Extra-satrapial 
dependencies. 9. Satrapies not always geographically continuous. 10. Modes by 
which the subjection of the conquered races was maintained — (i.) Disarming — (ii.) 
Transplantation — (iii.) Maintenance of a standing army. 11. Position and power of 
the monarch. 12. Privileges of the Persians. 13. Gradations of rank among 
them .......... 459 



1. Want of an accurate survey. 2. Great extent of Babylon according to ancient 
writers. 3. No traces of the original enceinte. 4. General plan of the existing 
ruins. 5. Their position on the left bank of the Euphrates a difficulty— modes of 
meeting it. 6. Canal between the northern and the central ruins. 7. Mound of 
JBabil, the temple of Belus— its present state. 8. Proofs of the identity. 9. Mounds 
of the Kasr and Amrdm, the ancient palace. 10. Site of the great reservoir. 11. 
Palace of Neriglissar, and embankment of Nabunit. 12. Triangular enclosure, of 
the Parthian age. 13. The Birs-Nimrud — its present appearance. 14. Original 
plan of the Mrs. 15. Its ornamentation. 16. The Mrs rebuilt by Nebuchadnezzar — 
his account of the restoration ...... 471 

Note A.— Standard Inscription of Nebuchadnezzar . . . . .485 

Note B.— Babylonian Researches of M. Oppert ..... 487 

Note C— The Great Inscription of Darius at Behistun . . . . 49C 


Map of the Persian Empire, with the limits of the twenty Satrapies of Darius . . 1 

Plan of Heliopolis . . . (Ch. 8, Bk. li.) ..... 6 

Ruins of Bubastis . . . (Ch. 138) ...... 186 

Plan of Sals .... (Ch. 170) ...... 219 

The World of Herodotus . . At the end of Vol. II. 

P. 11. 

Map of the country about the mouth of the River Achelous. 

P. 15, ch. 14, note \ 

(1.) The owner overlooking the ploughing and sowing of the land. A groom holds the 
horses of his chariot ......... {Thebes.) 

(2.) Ploughing scenes. One man drives the oxen, the other holds the plough. Over the 
latter is the word hebi, " plough ; " and the other hieroglyphics seem to refer to the " driv- 
ing" of the oxen. (Comp. the woodcut in p. 18) . . {Tomb at the Pyramids.) 

P. 16, ch. 14. 

(1.) Ploughing and hoeing. A small barrel stands at the end of the furrows, 
either containing seed, or rather some beverage for the ploughmen, as in Horn. II. 
E. 541 . . . . . . . . . (Beni Hassayi.) 

(2.) Ploughing, and sowing broadcast ...... (Thebes.) 

P. 17, ch. 14. 

The main and lateral canals of an estate ..... (Thebes.) 

P. 18, ch. 14, note 2 . 

(1.) Raising water by the " Shadoof," or pole and bucket . ... (Thebes.) 

(2.) Driving sheep over the land to tread in the grain . . (Tomb at the Pyramids.) 

P. 19, ch. 14, note 3 . 

(1.) The tritura, or treading out the corn on the threshing-floor . . (Thebes.) 

(2.) The tritura, and winnowing ....... (Thebes.) 

P. 25, ch. 19, note 8 . 

Name of the God Nilus, " Hapi." 
P. 86, ch. 19, note 9 . 

The three-headed Lion-God of Meroe. 

P. 37, ch. 19, note \ 

Name of the Ethiopian king Ergamun, called by the Greeks Ergamcnes. 

P. 38, ch. 30, note 3 . 

Inscription of the Greek soldiers sent into Ethiopia by PeammcMchus, written on the left 
leg of the Colossus to the S. of the door of the great temple at Aboosimbel. 

P. 41, ch. 32, note 8 . 

View in the Little Oasis, near Zubbo. 



P. 46, ch. 35, note *. 

(No. i.) Vertical loom, (i) the loom on the frame with a coloured selvage ; (c c) the man 
has the loom above him as he works. The shuttle (k) is not thrown, hut draws the thread 
through backwards and forwards by a hook at each end, as is still done in weaving the 
Welsh whittle .......... (I'hebes.) 

P. 47, ch. 35, note 2 . 

(No. ii.) Here the loom is below the women as they work. Figs 5 and 6 making thread 
over the one who twirls the spindle ; at d is the word Sat, " to twist " . Beni Hassan. 

P. 47, ch. 35, note 4 . 

(No. i.) A Queen making an offering with a King .... (.Thebes.) 

P. 48, ch. 35, note 4 . 

(No. ii.) Women who held a high office in the service of Amun ; — the Pallacides of Ju- 
piter ........... (Thebes.') 

(No. in.) Women holding a particular office in the funeral ceremonies . (Thebes.) 

P. 49, ch. 35, ib. 

(No. iv.) A ceremony performed by a man and a woman . . . (Thebes.) 

P. 50, ch. 36, note 8 . 

Wheat cut with the sickle ; another grain, probably Doora, plucked up by the 
roots ........... (Thebes.) 

P. 50, ch. 36, note 9 . 

(No. i.) Kneading the dough with the hand ..... (Thebes.) 

P. 51, ch. 36, note 6 . 

(No. ii.) Kneading dough with the feet . . . (Thebes, in the same picture.) 

Mode of writing numbers from right to left ; also in Indian and Hieratic, and Chinese. 

P. 53, ch. 37, note '. 

(No. i.) Dress of the priests ....... (Thebes.) 

P. 54, ch. 37, ib. 

(No. ii.) Leopard-skin dress of the high-priest called Sem . . . (Thebes.) 

(No. in.) Some priests officiating in a short kilt ..... (Thebes.) 

P. 55, ch. 37, ib. 

(No. iv.) Other dresses of priests ...... (Thebes.) 

(No. v.) Wooden machine for gouftreying linen dresses . . (Florence Museum.) 

(Fig. 2.) The divisions of the same, of the real size. 

P. 56, ch. 37, note \ 

Two wooden head-pillows, or rests ...... (Thebes.) 

P. 58, ch. 37, note B . 

Title of the high-priest " Sem." 

(Fig. 1.) A writer's palette ; (fig. 2) the cubit of justice ; and (fig. 3) the cup of libation, 
borne by the sacred scribe. 

P. 59, ch. 38, note 2 . 

Hieroglyphics signifying " to kill ; " probably similar to those on the priest's signet, or 
order for slaying a victim. 
(No. i.) The foreleg and other joints. 

P. 60, ch. 39, note 8 . 

(No. in.) An animal offered with the head, the foreleg, heart, and ribs, and a water-bird. 
(No. iv.) The head given to a poor Egyptian ..... (Thebes.) 

P. 61, ch. 39, ib. 

(No. ii.) The foreleg, the head, the heart, a whole goose, and other offerings of bread, 
flowers, fruit, &c. ...... (British Museum, from Thebes.) 

P. 63, ch. 41, note 7 . 

Cow-headed Goddess £bi. 


P. 65, ch. 42, note 4 . 

Vegetables. Figs. 5, 6, gourds ; 7, 8, raphanus orfigl ; 3 and 4 are sycamore figs. 

P. 66, ch. 42, note 9 . 

Name of Amun-ei or Thebes. 

P. 70, ch. 44, note 8 . 

(Part I.) Glass-blowers ....... (Beni Hassan.) 

(Part II.) Glass-blowers ........ (Thebes.) 

The same occur at the tombs about the Pyramids, of the time of Shafre, about 2400 b. c. 

P. 75, ch. 48, note 6 . 

Festoons supposed to be of ivy, but really of the Convolvulus, or of the Periploca Secamone. 

(Fig. 1.) The thyrsus and leopard-skin ; (2) the thyrsus alone ; (3) leaves supposed to be 

ivy ; (4) leaves having the character of those of the Periploca . . . (Thebes.) 

P. 76, ch. 48, note 8 . 

(No. ii.) Military band : (1) trumpet, (2) tomtom or hand-drum, (3) defaced, (4) clappers 
or crotala .......... (Thebes.) 

P. 77, ch. 48, ib. 

(No. i.) Music : two harps, a flute, and a pipe, and voices. (Tomb at the Pyramids.) 

(No. in.) Harp, guitar, double-pipe, lyre, tambourine .... (Thebes.) 

P. 78, ch. 48. 

(No. iv.) "Women playing the harp ..... (Thebes.) 

(No. v.) Two other kinds of harp. 

(No. vi.) Two others ; and a stringed instrument with a neck . (Found at Thebes.) 

P. 86, ch. 58, note 9 . 

(No. i.) A sacred ark, shrine, or boat ...... (Thebes.) 

P. 87, ch. 58. ib. 

(No. ii.) A sacred ark ........ (Thebes.) 

P. 88, ch. 58, note l . 

High-priest offering incense with sacred music, the harp, two flutes, and a guitar 

(Let/den Museum.) 

P. 88, ch. 58, note 2 . 

Name of Pasht, Bubastis, and Buto (?). 

P. 90, ch. 61, note 5 . 

Hieroglyphics meaning " Lord of the land of Hebai." 

P. 91, ch. 62, note 9 . 

Name of " Neith lady of Sais." 

P. 93, ch. 63, notes. 

A four-wheeled car .... (On mummy-bandages (Coll. d'Athanasi.) 

P. 95, ch. 65, note 9 . 

(Fig. 1.) Lock of hair on a child's head. 

P. 96, ch. 65, note 9 . 

(2 and 3) lock of hair on a prince's head appended to the wig . . (Thebes.) 

P. 97, ch. 67, note *. 

The ichneumon ........ (Tomb at Sakkdra.) 

P. 102, ch. 72, note \ 

(No. i.) The oxyrhinchus in bronze. 

(No. ii.) The lepidotus in bronze. 

(No. in.) Men fishing ....... (Beni Hassan.) 

P. 103, ch. 72. 

(No. iv.) Catching fish (Tomb at the Pyramids.) 




. (Thebes.) 
(Beni Hassan and Thebes.) 

(Beni Hassan. 


(The finger, as of Harpo- 

. (Thebes.) 

P. 104, ch. 72. 

(No. v.) A gentleman fishing, seated on a chair upon a boat 
The Nile goose and a line, signifying " son." 

P. 105, ch. 73, note \ 

(Figs. 1 and 2) The pure soul ; (3) the Phoenix 

P. 108, ch. 11, note 7 . 

Glass bottles for wine ...... 

P. 109, ch. 11, note 2 . 

Drying and preparing fish ..... . (Tomb at the Pyramids.) 

P. 110, ch. 11, note 2 . 

(No. i.) Clap-nets ....... 

(No. ii.) Net-traps for birds ..... 

P. Ill, ch. 11. 

Catching and preserving geese ..... 
Fig. 2 enjoins silence by putting his hand over his mouth 
crates, is not the sign of silence, as generally supposed.) .... 

P. 112, ch. 78, note 4 . 

Figure of Osiris introduced at a party. 

P. 114, ch. 81, note 8 . 

(No. i.) Linen dress with a fringe, and two others. (No. n.) Various dresses 

P. 115, ch. 82, note \ 

The hours of day and night . ... 

P. 117, ch. 84, note 4 . 

Ex-votos of an arm and ear ....... 

P. 119, ch. 85, note 7 . 

(No. i.) "Women throwing dust on their heads in token of grief 

(No. ii.) Men beating themselves before a mummy in honour of Osiris 

P. 121, ch. 86, note 9 . 

Butchers sharpening their knives on a steel. (The same is represented at the tombs 
about the Pyramids, of earlier times.) ...... (Thebes.) 

P. 121, ch. 86, note \ 

Knives for killing a victim. 

P. 123, ch. 86, note 6 . 

(No. i.) Liturgies performed to mummies . 

P. 124, ch. 86. 

(No. ii.) Other services, and female relations weeping 

P. 126, ch. 91, note 4 . 

Name of Egypt, Khem, or Chemi. 

P. 128, ch. 92, note 10 . 

Presenting guests with necklaces of lotus-flowers, as they sit on a mat . (Thebes.) 

P. 129, ch. 92, note \ 

The Nymphaea Nelumbo, or Indian lotus . . . (From Roman Sculpture.) 

P. 133, ch. 96, note \ 

(No. i.) Probable mode of securing the planks of ancient Nile boats. 

(No. ii.) Making a boat, and binding it with papyrus bands. (Tombs at the Pyramids.) 

P. 134, ch. 96, note \ 

(No. in.) Sail like that of a Chinese boat with the double mast of early times. 

(Kom Ahmar.) 



( Thebes.) 




P. 134, ch. 96, ib. 

Boat apparently of firwood, with the usual sail .... (Thebes.) 

P. 135, ch. 96, note *. 

(No. iv.) Boats with sails wrought with colours ..... (Thebes.) 
Cultivation of flax, and process of making ropes and linen cloth . (Bent Hassan.) 

P. 136, ch. 96, note 5 . 

(No. i.) Boat of the dead ........ (Thebes.) 

P. 137, ch. 96, ib. 

(No. ii.) A gentleman in a hoat with a cabin, towed by his servants on a lake in his 
grounds ........... (Thebes.) 

(No. in.) Large boat on the Nile ...... (Eileiihyias.) 

P. 138, ch. 96, ib. 

(No. iv.) Boat of burthen ........ (Thebes.) 

P. 139, ch. 97, note 7 . 

(No. i.) Rescuing cattle from the inundation ..... (Beni Hassan.) 
(No. ii.) A similar subject ....... (ib.) 

P. 140, ch. 99, note 5 . 
Name of Menes. 

P. 142, ch. 100, note 2 . 

Two names of Nitocris. 

P. 146, ch. 104, note 4 . 

A negro from the sculptures .......( Thebes.) 

P. 149. 

Supposed figure of Sesostris, near Smyrna. 

P. 150, ch. 106, note 5 . 

Name of N. Ethiopia and of Phut. 

P. 152, ch. 107, note l . 

Statue on a sledge, 13 cubits in height, according to the hieroglyphics ; in a tomb near 
El Bersheh, or rather near Dayr E' Nakhl. 

(Fig. 1.) The etutue bound upon a sledge, with ropes passing over pieces of leather, or 
rather of lead, to prevent their injuring the stone. It is of an individual of rank, " Thoth- 
othph, beloved of the king."— (2.) A man, probably beating time with his hands, and giv- 
ing out a verse of a song, to which the men responded. -(3.) Seems from the hieroglyphics 
to he offering incense. — (4.) Pours grease from u vase upon the road, probably covered with 
wood, on which the sledge glided. The back of the sledge is cut so as to admit the points 
of levers, commonly used in Egypt and Assyria for moving large monuments, and men- 
tioned in Ilerodot. ii. 175. — (5.) Egyptian soldiers. — (6, 7, 8, 9.) Four rows of forty-three men 
each, dragging the statue. Some appear to be foreigners, others Egyptians, and soldiers.— 
(10.) Men carrying grease, or water.— (11.) Others carrying some implements.— (12.) Task- 
masters or superintendents.— (13, 14, 15, 1G.) Superintendents and perhaps reliefs of men. 
In the columns of hieroglyphics to the extreme right the name mentioned is the " Hermopo- 
ftte," and that part of it " on the east " bank, where this tomb is hewn in the limestone rock 

P. 171, ch. 124, note °. 

Plan of tho Pyramids. 

P. 172, ch. 125, note 3 . 

Mode of constructing a Pyramid. 

P. 175, ch. 127, note \ 

Names of Shofo, Shufu, Suphis, or Cheops ; and of Nou-Shufu, 

P. 176, ch. 129, note 4 . 

Name of Mencheres, or Mycerinus. 


P. 179, ch. 134, note 2 . 

Section of part of the third Pyramid, showing the original passage and chamber, and the 
later ones. 

P. 181, ch. 135, note 6 . 

Spits or skewers of bronze .... (Gregorian Museum, Rome.) 

P. 183, ch. 136, note \ 

Brick-making at Thebes, showing how they mixed the mud and made the tales of bricks, 
overlooked by task-masters, as described in Exodus. The workmen were foreigners, but 
not in this instance Jews ........ (Thebes.) 

P. 184, ch. 136, note 2 . 

Brick Pyramid of Hawara. 

P. 199, ch. 152, note 5 . 

Foreign auxiliaries in the time of Remeses III. .... (Thebes.) 

P. 201, ch. 155, note 4 . 

An Egyptian temple, surrounded by its temenos planted with trees. A procession with a 
sacred shrine is entering the temenos from the hypaethral building before the entrance. 
Beyond are a villa, and villages in the plain, which is intersected by canals from the Nile. 

P. 219, ch. 171, note 2 . 

(No. i.) The great serpent Apapor Aphophis, lying dead before the god Atmoo or Atum. 

P. 220, ch. 171, ib. 

(No. ii.) Aphophis in a human form pierced by the spear of Horus. 
Legend of Atmoo, or Atum-Re the Sun, and Aphophis killed. 

P. 223, ch. 175, note \ 

(No. i.) The human-headed or andro-sphinx 
(No. ii.) The ram-headed sphinx. 

P. 224, ch. 175, ib. 

(No. in.) The hawk-headed sphinx. 

(No. iv.) The winged female sphinx. 

(No. v.) A fabulous animal. 

(No. vi.) Andro-sphinx representing a king presenting an offering. 

(No. vn.) Five other fabulous animals ..... (Bent Hassan.) 

P. 227, ch. 177, note °. 

Men presenting themselves before the magistrates or scribes. 

P. 229, ch. 181, note 6 . 
Name of Tashot. 

P. 230, ch. 182, note 9 . 

Artists painting on panel, and colouring a statue ; date about 2000 b. c. (Beni Hassan.) 
P. 231, ch. 182, note 9 . 

Mode of drawing Egyptian figures in squares .... (Thebes.) 

P. 232, ch. 182, note \ 

A corslet, probably of linen worked with various coloured devices . . (Thebes.) 


CHAPTER II. p. 237. 

The Twelve Egyptian Months. 
CH. in. p. 244. 

Hieroglyphics signifying " prayer." 


CH. v. p. 256. 

The sentence "in the 3rd year, 4th month of the waters (». e. MeBore), the 20th day, of 
King Ptolemy ;" in hieroglyphics, in hieratic, and in demotic 
Other hieroglyphics throughout this chapter. 

CH. V. p. 267. 

Hebrew, Phoenician, and Greek Alphabets. 

CH. VI. p. 271. 

(No. i.) Some of the numerous attitudes of wrestlers. . . (Beni Hassan.) 

(No. ii.) Games of ball ....... (ib.) 

ch. vi. p. 272. 

(No. in.) Another game of ball ....... (16.) 

(No. it.) Game with a hoop ....... (ib.) 

(No. t.) Game apparently to try who shall rise first from the ground . (ib.) 

ch. vi. p. 273. 

(No. vi.) Tumbling women ....... (ib.) 

(No. vii.) Raising bags of sand ....... (ib.) 

(No. vin.) Feats of tumbling, with the prize a necklace. They are as usual women. 


CH. VI. p. 274. 

(No. ix.) Thimble-rig, 2000 b. C. . . . . . (ib.) 

(No. x.) Games of mora, and odd and even ..... (ib.) 

(No. xi.) Bull-fight (ib.) 

(No. xii.) Game of draughts ....... (ib.) 

CH. VI. p. 275. 

(No. xin.) Games of draughts and mora ..... (ib.) 

(No. xiv.) Pieces for the game of draughts. 

(No. xv.) Other pieces for draughts. 

(No. xvi.) Board of an unknown game with the men in the drawer. 

(Dr. Abbott's collection.) 
CH. VI. p. 276. 

(No. xtii.) Another board ....... (ib. 

(No. xviii.) An unknown game ; and a man standing on his head . (Beni Hassan.) 

(No. xix.) Other unknown games ...... (ib.) 

CH. VIII. p. 287. 

Arrangement of the first 19 dynasties, showing the contemporaneousness of some of them. 

CH. vin. p. 288. 

Arrangement of the 1st and 3rd dynasties. 

CH. Vin. p. 307. 

Name of the King Resi-toth, or Resi-tot, who followed King Horus (Apis tablet.) 

CH. vin. p. 319. 

Name of Psammetichus I. 

CH. VIII. p. 319. 

Names of Tapesntapes (?), wife of Psammetichus I., and of the Ethiopian king Peeonkh 
and his queen Amunatis her father and mother . . . (Thebes and Gebel Berkel.) 


P. 339, ch. 13, note \ 

Name of Memphis, " the white building," and " Men-nofre, the land of the Pyramid." 

P. 345, ch. 18, note 6 . 

Cooks putting geese into a boiler .... (Tomb near the Pyramid.) 

Cooks roasting a goose and cutting up meat . . . ( Tomb near the Pyramid.) 


P. 346, ch. 20, note a . 
The Helix Ianthina. 

P. 34V, ch. 20, ib. 

Statue of a Goddess found in Syria holding a shell in her hand. 

P. 352, ch. 26, note 6 . 

Name of Hebi, the city of the Great Oasis. 

P. 354, ch. 28, note 2 . 

(1.) Name of Apis or Hapi. 

(2.) Figure of Apis-Osiris. 

(3.) Bronze figure of the Bull Apis. 

P. 362, ch. 37, note 9 . 

Two figures of the pigmy-god Phthah-Sokar-Osiris. 

P. 374. 

Plan of Samos. 

P. 379. 

Ground-plan of the Heraeum, or Temple of Juno, at Samos. 

P. 385. 

View of the Great Mound of Sus, the ancient Susa. 

P. 404, ch. 97, note 4 . 

Logs of ebony and ivory brought by Ethiopians as part of the tribute to the Pharaohs. 

(1.) Ethiopians with an ebony club like those now used in Ethiopia. 
(2.) The modern ebony clubs of Ethiopia. 

P. 417, ch. 115, note . 

Pig of tin found in Cornwall and now in the Truro Museum. 


Essay I., p. 446. 

(No. 1.) Goddess with a child from Idalium in Cyprus. (In the Turin Museum.') 

(No. 2.) I6is and Horus of Egypt. 

P. 448. 

(No. 3.) Statue found in Malta, supposed to be of Astarte or Venus, of Roman time. 

P. 449. 

(No. 4.) Figure of Astarte, found in Etruria. 

P. 450. 

(No. 5.) Two heads found at Idalium in Cyprus . (In the Turin Museum.) 

Essay IV., p. 473. 

Plau of the ruins of Babylon in their present state. 
P. 475. 

Restoration of a portion of ancient Babylon. 
P. 476. 

View of the mound of Babil, or ancient temple of Belus. 
P. 478. 

View of the Kasr, or ancient Palace of Nebuchadnezzar. 


P. 4Y9. . 

Fragment of a frieze from the palace. 

P. 481. 

Original plan of the Birs-Nimrad, according to the conjecture of Mr. Layard. 

P. 482. 

Elevation restored according to actual measurements. 

P. 487. 

General map of the country about Babylon, according to M. Oppert. 

P. 488. 

Restoration of the Royal Residence or Acropolis of Babylon, according to M. Oppert. 




1. On the death of Cyrus, Cambyses his son by Cassandane 
daughter of Pharnaspes took the kingdom. Cassandan6 had 
died in the lifetime of Cyrus, who had made a great mourning 
for her at her death, and had commanded all the subjects of his 
empire to observe the like. Cambyses, the son of this lady and 
of Cyrus, regarding the Ionian and iEolian Greeks as vassals of 
his father, took them with him in his expedition against Egypt 1 
among the other nations which owned his sway. 

2. Now the Egyptians, before the reign of their king Psam- 
metichus, believed themselves to be the most ancient of man- 
kind. 2 Since Psammetichus, however, made an attempt to 

1 The date of the expedition of Cambyses against Egypt cannot be fixed with 
absolute certainty. Manetho, whose authority is of the greatest importance, gave 
Cambyses, according to Africanus (ap. Syncell. p. 141), a reign of six years in 
Egypt, which would place his invasion in b. c. 527. Eusebius, however (Chron. Can. 
Pars i. p. 105), reports Manetho differently, and himself agrees nearly with Diodorus 
(i. 68), who puts the expedition in the 3rd year of the 63rd Olympiad, or b. c. 
525. This date, which is the one ordinarily received, is, on the whole, the most 

It is curious that Herodotus, whose principal object, in Books i. to v., is to trace 
the gradual growth of the Persian power, should say nothing directly of the first 
four years of Cambyses, omitting thereby so important an event as the subjection 
of Phoenicia, which was certainly accomplished by him. (See below, iii. 34, andcomp. 
note to Book iii. ch. 19.) This period probably contained, besides the submission 
of Phoenicia, and of Cyprus, the reduction or submission of Cilicia, which lay in the 
same quarter. Cilicia, which was independent of the great Lydian kingdom (supra, 
i. 28), and which was not reduced, so far as appears, by either Cyrus or Harpagus, 
— for the contrary statement of Xenophon (Cyrop. i. i. § 4), who ascribes to Cyrus 
the conquest of Cilicia, Cyprus, Phoenicia, and Egypt (!) deserves no credit — must 
have been added to the empire either by Cambyses or by Darius, and is most 
probably a conquest of the former. These events would serve to occupy Cambyses 
during his first four years, and explain the reason why he deferred the Egyptian ex- 
pedition, already designed by Cyrus (i. 153) till his fifth. 

2 This affectation of extreme antiquity is strongly put by Plato in his Timseus 
(p. 22, B), where the Greek nation is taxed by the Egyptians with being in its in- 
fancy as compared with them. According to the account which Herodotus gives below 

Vol. II.— l 


discover who were actually the primitive race, 3 they have "been 
of opinion that while they surpass all other nations, the Phry- 
gians surpass them in antiquity. This king, rinding it impossi- 
ble to make out by dint of inquiry what men were the most 
ancient, contrived the following method of discovery : — He took 
two children of the common sort, and gave them over to a herds- 
man to bring up at his folds, strictly charging him to let no one 
utter a word in their presence, but to keep them in a sequestered 
cottage, and from time to time introduce goats to their apart- 
ment, see that they got their fill of milk, and in all other 
respects look after them. His object herein was to know, after 
the indistinct babblings of infancy were over, what word they 
would first articulate. It happened as he had anticipated. 
The herdsman obeyed his orders for two years, and at the end 
of that time, on his one day opening the door of their room and 
going in, the children both ran up to him with outstretched 
arms, and distinctly said " Becos." When this first happened 
the herdsman took no notice ; but afterwards when he observed, 
on coming often to see after them, that the word was constantly 
in their mouths, he informed his lord, and by his command 
brought the children into his presence. Psammetichus then 
himself heard them say the word, upon which he proceeded to 
make inquiry what people there was who called anything " becos," 
and hereupon he learnt that " becos " was the Phrygian name 
for bread. 4 In consideration of this circumstance the Egyptians 

(ch. 142), the priests in some places -would seem to have pretended, in their discus- 
sions with foreigners, to an antiquity of above 11,000 years for their nation. The 
entire number of years, however, assigned by Manetho to his 30 dynasties of kings 
did not greatly exceed 5000, and Syncellus reports Manetho as claiming for the 
monarchy no longer actual duration than 3555 years before the conquest by Alex- 
ander. (See Midler's Fr. Hist. Gr., vol. ii. p. 53*4.) Even this view, however, senilis 
to be extravagant, for it places the accession of Menes in n. c. 38S3, which is con- 
siderably before the Deluge, according to the highest computation. Still the Egyp- 
tian numbers are moderate compared with those of sonic other nations. The Bab- 
ylonians counted 468,000 years from their first king Alorua to the conquest by 
Cyrus (Beros. ap. Euseb. Chron. Can. i. p. 5-18 ; compare Brandis, Rerum Ass. 
Temp. Emendata, pp. 16-17); and the Indians and Chinese trace their history for a 
still longer period. 

The Egyptian claims to a high relative antiquity had, no doubt, a solid basis of 
truth. It is probable that a settled monarchy was established in Egypt earlier than 
in any other country. Babylonian history does not go back beyond B.C. 2234. 
Egyptian begins nearly 500 years earlier. 

3 The disposition on the part of Psammetichus towards scientific enquiry is no- 
ticed again in ch. 28. Perhaps the contact with the Greeks, which began in his 
reign (ch. 154), caused the development of the Egyptian mind in this direction. 

4 The word $e K os has been thought to connect with the German " backeo " and 
our "bake." Lassen, however, throws doubt on this connexion, ami BUgg< 
formation from the Sanscrit root pac, which becomes (he says) in Greek 71-eV-a;, 
Latin co^-uo, German coch-en, our "cook," Servian pec-e«, &c. (See his Essaj 
' Ueber die Lykischen Inschriften, und die Alten Sprachen Klein Asicns,' p. 869.) 


yielded their claims, and admitted the greater antiquity of the 

3. That these were the real facts I learnt at Memphis from 
the priests of Vulcan. The Greeks, among other foolish tales, 
relate that Psammetichus had the children brought up by 
women whose tongues he had previously cut out ; but the 
priests said their bringing up was such as I have stated above. 
I got much other information also from conversation with these 
priests while I was at Memphis, and I even went to Heliopolis 
and to Thebes, 5 expressly to try whether the priests of those 
places would agree in their accounts with the priests at Mem- 
phis. The Heliopolitans have the reputation of being the best 
skilled in history of all the Egyptians. 6 What they told me 
concerning their religion it is not my intention to repeat, except 
the names of their deities, which I believe all men know equally. 
If I relate anything else concerning these matters, it will only 
be when compelled to do so by the course of my narrative. 7 

4. Now with regard to mere human matters, the accounts 
which they gave, and in which all agreed, were the following. 
The Egyptians, they said, were the first to discover the solar 
year, and to portion out its course into twelve parts. They 
obtained this knowledge from the stars. (To my mind they 
contrive their year much more cleverly than the Greeks, for 
these last every other year intercalate a whole month, 8 but the 
Egyptians, dividing the year into twelve months of thirty days 
each, add every year a space of five days besides, whereby the 

But this connexion, which may be allowed, does not prevent the other from being 
also real. See on this point, and on the general subject of the Phrygian language, 
the Essays appended to Book i. Essay xi., " On the Ethnic Affinities of the Nations 
of Western Asia," § 12. If the story has any truth in it, the children probably (as 
Larcher observes) were imitating the bleating of the goats. (See note in Appendix 
to this Book, ch. i. § 1.) 

5 The name of Thebes is almost always written in the plural by the Greeks and 
Romans — 0f,/3ai, Thebae — but Pliny writes, " Thebe portarum centum nobilis fama." 
The Egyptian name of Thebes was Ap, or A'pe, the "head," or "capital." This, 
with the feminine article, became Tape, and in the Memphitic dialect Thape, pro- 
nounced, as by the Copts, Thaba, whence 0?l/3cu in Ionic Greek. The oldest known 
monuments in Western Thebes were of Amun-m-he I. at Karnak, and of his succes- 
sor Osirtasen I., who ruled immediately after the sixth dynasty ended at Memphis, 
about b. c. 2080.— [G. W.] 

c Heliopolis was the great seat of learning, and the university of Egypt ; and 
that it was one of the oldest cities is proved by the obelisk of Osirtasen I. of the 
12th dynasty. See below note 7 on ch. 8. — [G. W.] 

T For instances of the reserve which Herodotus here promises, see chapters 45, 
46,47, 48, 61, 62, 60, 81, 132, 170, and 171. The secrecy in matters of religion, 
which was no doubt enjoined upon Herodotus by the Egyptian priests, did not seem 
strange to a Greek, who was accustomed to it in the "mysteries" of his own 

8 Vide supra, i. 32, and see note ad loc. 


circuit of the seasons is made to return with uniformity. 9 ) The 
Egyptians, they went on to affirm, first brought into use the 
names of the twelve gods, 10 which the Greeks adopted from 
them ; and first erected altars, images, and temples to the gods ; 
and also first engraved upon stone the figures of animals. In 
most of these cases they proved to me that what they said was 
true. And they told me that the first man 1 who ruled over 
Egypt was Men, 2 and that in his time all Egypt, except the 
Thebaic canton, was a marsh, 3 none of the land below lake 

9 This at once proves they intercalated the quarter day, making their year to 
consist of 365^ days, without which the seasons could not return to the same pe- 
riods. The fact of Herodotus not understanding their method of intercalation does 
not argue (as Goguet seems to think) that the Egyptians were ignorant of it. Their 
having fixed the Sothic period in 1322 b. c, and ascertained that 1460 Sothic were 
equal to 1461 vulgar or " vague " years, as well as the statements of ancient authors, 
deoide the question. But for the date of a king's reign they used the old year of 
360 days ; and the months were not reckoned from his accession, but were part of 
the current year. Thus, if he came to the throne on the 10th of the last month of 
the year, or Mesore, he would date in the 1st year, the 12th month, the 10th day; 
and his second year would be in the following month Thoth, or 25 days after his 
accession. The Jews appear to have done the same. (See the Appendix to this 
Book, ch. ii.)— [G. W\] 

10 Some suppose these to be the twelve gods of Olympus, the same as the Con- 
sentes of the Romans, given by Varro, 

" Juno, Vesta, Minerva, Ceres, Diana, Venus, Mars, 
Mercurius, Jovi, Neptunus, Vulcanus, Apollo," 

and that they do not refer to any arrangement of the Egyptian Pantheon ; but in 
ch. 145 Herodotus distinctly mentions the three orders of Egyptian gods, the first 
two consisting of eight and twelve, and the third " born of the twelve. 1 ' He also 
shows how much older some were considered in Egypt than in Greece ; Pan being 
one of the eight oldest, and Hercules of the twelve ; and says (ii. 43) that Neptune 
was a " god quite unknown to the Egyptians." Again in ch. 4 he distinctly states 
they had twelve gods. The Etruscans had twelve great gods ; the Romans 
probably derived that number from them. — (See note in Appendix, cu. iii. § 1.) — 
[G. W.] 

1 According to the chronological tables of the Egyptians the gods wore repre- 
sented to have reigned first, and after them Menes the Thinite ; and the same is found 
recorded in the Turin Papyrus of Kings, as well as in Manetho and other writers. 
Manetho gives them in this order: — 1. Vulcan (Pthah) ; 2. Helios (Re), the Sun; 
3. Agathodaemon (Hor-Hat, or possibly Noum); 4. Chronos (Seb); 5. Osiris; 6. 
Typhon (properly Seth); and 7. Horus. In the Papyrus there remain only Seb, 
Osiris, Seth, Horus, Thoth, Thmei (or Mei "Truth"), and apparently Horus (the 
Younger), who was " the last god who reigned in Egypt." (See n. 6 ch. 43, n. 5 ch. 
99, and Tn. P. W., p. 7-11. Menes (Menai) is represented by some to have been a 
conqueror ; not that the Egyptians then obtained possession of the valley of the 
Nile for the first time ; for he was from This, and their early immigration from Asia 
happened long before. But the establishment of royalty introduced luxury into 
Egypt, and Tnephachthus (Technatis of Plut. de Is. S), the father of Bocchoris of 
the 24th dynasty, put up a curse "against Meinis " (Menes) in a temple at Thebes 
for having led the Egyptians from their previous simple and frugal habits. Diodorus 
(i. 45) says also that Menas was the first who introduced the worship of the gods, 
and sacrifices, the use of letters, couches, and rich carpets. Cp. Cicero, Tusc. Disp. 
v. 35 on Frugal Repasts. See App. ch. viii. — [G. W.] 

2 Herodotus does not call this king Menes, or Menas (as Diodorus, i. 46), but 
Men. The Egyptian form is 3Fna according to Bunsen and Lcpsius. 

3 Note, besides the improbability of such a change, the fact that Menes was the 


Moeris then showing itself above the surface of the water. This 
is a distance of seven clays' sail from the sea up the river. 

5. What they said of their country seemed to me very reason- 
able. For any one who sees Egypt, without having heard a 
word about it before, must perceive, if he has only common 
powers of observation, that the Egypt to which the Greeks go 
in their ships is an acquired country, the gift of the river. 4 The 
same is true of the land above the lake, to the distance of three 
days' voyage, concerning which the Egyptians say nothing, but 
which is exactly the same kind of country. 

The following is the general character of the region. In the 
first place, on approaching it by sea, when you are still a day's 
sail from the land, if you let clown a sounding-line you will bring 
up mud, and find yourself in eleven fathoms' water, which shows 
that the soil washed down by the stream extends to that dis- 
tance. 5 

reputed founder of Memphis, which is far to the north of this lake; and thatBusiris, 
near the coast, the reputed burial-place of Osiris, Buto, Pelusium, and other towns 
of the Delta, were admitted by the Egyptians to be of the earliest date. — [G. W.] 

4 Vide infra, ch. 10, and note ad loc. The theory had been started by Hecataeus, 
who made use of the same expression. (See Arrian. Exp. Al. v. 6.) 

[Herodotus observes that the same might be said of the country above for three 
days 1 sail ; and exactly the same appearance might have struck him throughout the 
whole valley of the Nile. But though the depth of the soil has greatly increased, and is 
still increasing, in various ratios in different parts of the valley, the first deposit did 
not take place after man existed in Egypt ; and as marine productions have not 
been met with in boring to the depth of 40 feet in the Delta, it is evident that its 
soil was deposited from the very first on a space already above the level of the 
Mediterranean. The formation of the Delta of Egypt is not like that of some other 
rivers, where the land has been protruded far into the sea ; on the contrary, the 
Nile, after pursuing its course through the alluvial soil, enters the sea at the same 
distance north of the Lake Moeris as it did in the age of the early kings of Egypt. 
The sites of the oldest cities are as near the sea-shore as when they were inhabited 
of old ; and yet the period now elapsed since some of them were built is nearly 
double that between Menes and Herodotus. I have already in another work ex- 
plained the mistake respecting the Pharos I. having once been distant from Egypt 
(At. Eg. W. vol. i. p. 7), owing to the name Myvirros in Homer signifying (not the 
country, but) the " Nile ; " and the Pharos I. and the coast of Alexandria being both 
rock, the distance between them has always been the same. Another great reason 
for the Delta not encroaching on the sea is that the land is always sinking along the 
north coast of Egypt (while it rises at the head of the Red Sea) ; and there is 
evidence to show that the Mediterranean has encroached, and that the Delta 
has lost instead of gaining, along the whole of its extent from Canopus to Pelusium. 
— G. W.] 

5 The distance you see the Mediterranean discoloured by the Nile during the in- 
undation is very great, and the same takes place in a minor degree at the mouths 
of rivers on the Syrian coast, but without forming any deltas; nor is the shallow sea 
off the coast of Egypt more a part of the Delta of the Nile now than when sounded in 
Herodotus' time, about 2300 years ago ; and 11 orgyies (or fathoms) at a day's sail from 
the coast would alarm a sailor even at the present day. For you only come into 11 
fathoms water at about 12 or 13 miles off the coast, about Abookir; and at 25 or 
30 miles you have GO, 70, 80, and 90 fathoms, with sand and mud. At 5 or 6 miles 
from the mouth of the Nile the water on the surface is nearlv fresh, and the bottom 


6. The length of the country along shore, according to the 
bounds that we assign to Egypt, namely from the Plinthine tic 
gulf 6 to lake Serbonis, which extends along the base of Mount 
Casius, is sixty schcenes. 7 The nations whose territories are 
scanty measure them by the fathom ; those whose bounds are less 
confined, by the furlong ; those who have an ample territory, by 
the parasang ; but if men have a country which is very vast, 
they measure it by the schoene. 8 Now the length of the para- 
sang is thirty furlongs, 9 but the schcene, which is an Egyptian 
measure, is sixty furlongs. l Thus the coast-line of Egypt would 
extend a length of three thousand six hundred furlongs. 

7. From the coast inland as far as Heliopolis the breadth of 
Egypt is considerable, the country is flat, without springs, and 
full of swamps. 2 The length of the route from the sea up to 

mostly a stiff mud. The longest day's sail, according to Herodotus (iy. 86), is 700 
stadia, about 79| Eng. m., or (infra, ch. 9) 540 stadia, about 61 miles, where the 
soundings would be at least the same number of fathoms. — [G. W.] 

6 Plinthine was a town near the Lake Mareotis (Strabo, xvii. p. 1133; Ptol. iv. 
c. 5 ; Scylax. Perip. 105). From it the lake, as well as the bay, was sometimes 
called " Plinthinetan." The name " Arapotes," given in Pliny (v. 10) to this 
lake is evidently a false reading. It should be Racotis, and applies to Alexandria. 
— [G. W.] 

7 The schoene, an Egyptian measure, varied from 30 and 32 to 40 stadia, accord- 
ing to Pliny (v. 10, xii. 14); and Strabo distinctly says (xvii. p. 1140) it was of 
various lengths in different parts of Egypt. Herodotus says it was equal to 60 
stadia, making the length of the coast 3600 stadia, which, at 600 feet to the stadium, 
would be more than 400 Eng. m. The real length of the coast from the Bay of 
Plinthine at Taposiris, or at Plinthine, even to the eastern end of the Lake Serbonis, 
is by the shore little more than 300 Eng. m. Diodorus estimates the breadth of 
Egypt by the coast at 2000 stadia ; and Strabo gives only 1770 stadia from the 
Temple of Jupiter Casius at the Serbonic Lake to Pharos, which, added to 200 stadia 
to Taposiris, make 1970 stadia. The real distance from Casius to Pharos is about 
1944 stadia, and from Pharos to Taposiris or to Plinthine, nearly 260, being a total 
of about 2204 stadia.— [G. W.] 

* Some might imagine this to be confirmed by modern custom ; the English 
measuring by miles, the French by leagues, the Germans by the " meile," of more 
than four times our mile in length ; but this will not hold good generally, and the 
Russian werst is only about two-thirds of an English mile, or 1167 yards. — 
[G. W.] 

9 See note on Book v. ch. 53. 

1 This would be more than 36,000 English feet, or nearly 7 miles. 

The Greek oxolvos, " rope," is the same word which signifies rush, of which 
ropes are still made in Egypt and in other countries, and it has been singularly 
transferred to the skein of our modern measure for thread and silk. — [G. W.J 

3 Heliopolis stood on the edge of the desert, about 4 £ miles to the E. of the 
apex of the Delta; but the alluvial land of the Delta extended 5 miles farther to the 
eastward of that city, to what is now the Birket-el-Hag. The mountains to the S. 
of Heliopolis closing in to the westward towards the Nile make the valley narrow in 
that part, and throughout the rest of its course from the S. The southern point of 
the Delta appears formerly to have extended further up the river (i. e. south) than 
at present, and to have been nearly opposite the modern village of Shoobra (see M. 
Eg. W. vol. i. p. 401). At the time and long after Cairo was founded, the Nile ran 
more to the eastward, as Mr. Lane has shown, under its western walls. 

^m-, CI 


f'% ,*,.. 

'."nw N * 



Heliopolis is almost exactly the same as that of the road which 
runs from the altar of the twelve gods at Athens 3 to the temple 

The accumulation of alluvial soil at the base of the obelisk of Osirtasen at Helio- 
polis, as around the sitting Colossi in the plain at Thebes, has been often appealed 
to for determining the rise of the alluvial soil within a certain period, but as there 
is no possibility of ascertaining how far it stood above the reach of the inundation 
when first put up, we have no base for any calculation. The water of the inun- 
dation having been for ages kept out, according to Egyptian custom, from the en- 
closure in which the temple stood, the accumulation of deposit there was the more 
rapid when in after times the water was admitted, which readily accounts for " so 
great a thickness of one kind of sediment without any sign of successive deposition," 
which seems to have presented a difficulty to Mr. Horner. 

I have supposed the deposit to have been raised at Elephantine about 9 feet in 
1700 years, and at Thebes about 7 ; but this is very uncertain. The increase is of 
course much less the farther you descend the valley, and at the mouth of the Nile 
it is very small ; for it is there lessened far more than in the same decreasing ratio 
as between Elephantine and Heliopolis, owing to the greater extent of land, east 
and west, over which the inundation spreads, so that in a section representing the 
accumulated soil and the level of the low Nile, the angle of inclination would be 
much smaller from the apex of the Delta to the sea, than from Thebes to the Delta. 
"Thus," as Mr. Horner says, "while the rise of the river at the island of Roda is 24 
feet, near Ramanyeh, about 65 miles in a direct line N. of the apex of the Delta, 
the difference between the highest and the lowest water is about 13 feet, and at 
Rosetta and Damietta not more than 42 inches." The Nile at Asouan is said to be 
300 feet above its level at Cairo, and 365 above the Mediterranean. The distance 
from the Rosetta mouth to Cairo is 154 miles, from Cairo to Asouan 578, following 
all the bends of the river, which give a total of 732 miles from the sea to the First 

According to M. Linant, the volume of water poured during 24 hours into the 
Mediterranean by the Nile, when low, is — 

Cubic metres. 

By the Kosetta branch .... 79,532,551,728 
By the Damietta branch .... 71,033,840,640 

Cubic metres . . 150,566,392,368 

When high 478,317,83S,960 

" 227,196,82S,4S0 


At Sioot, which is about half-way from Asouan to Teraneh, the French engineers 
found that in every second of time the mass of water that passes any one point is 
678 cubic metres at low Nile, and 10,247 at high Nile; and, according to M. Linant, 
at Cairo 414 cubic metres at low, and 9440 at high, Nile. (See Mr. Horner's Me- 
moir in Trans. R. Society, vol. 145, p. 101-138.) 

The average fall of the river between Asouan and Cairo is " little more than half 
a foot in a mile, viz. 0*54 feet, and from the foot of the First Cataract to the sea is 
- 524 feet in a mile ; " but from Cairo to the Damietta mouth, according to the 
same authority (ib. p. 114), "the average fall is only 3£ inches in a mile." — 

The altar of the twelve gods at Athens stood in the Forum, and seems from 
this passage and from one or two inscriptions (Rose, Tab. xxxii. p. 251 ; cf. Boeckh, 
Corp. Ins. 1. i. p. 32) to have served, like the gilt pillar (milliarium aureum) in the 
Forum at Rome, as a central point from which to measure distances. It was ori- 
ginally erected by Pisistratus, the son of the tyrant Hippias, but was afterwards en- 
larged and beautified by the Athenian people. (Thucyd. vi. 54.) Adjacent to this 
altar was the enclosure where votes for ostracism were taken. (Leake's Athens, 
p. 163, note b .) 


of Olympian Jove at Pisa. 4 If a person made a calculation he 
would find but a very little difference between the two routes, 
not more than about fifteen furlongs ; for the road from Athens 
to Pisa falls short of fifteen hundred furlongs by exactly fifteen/ 
whereas the distance of Heliopolis from the sea is just the 
round number. 6 

8. As one proceeds beyond Heliopolis 7 up the country, Egypt 

4 This mention of Pisa is curious, considering that it had been destroyed so long 
before (b. c. 572) by the Eleans (Pausan. vi. xxii. § 2), and that it had certainly 
not been rebuilt by the close of the Peloponnesian war (Xen. Hell. in. ii. § 31, 
comp. vii. iv. § 28). Probably Herodotus intends Olympia itself rather than the 
ancient town, which was six stades distant (Schol. ad Pind. 01. x. 55) in the direc- 
tion of Harpinna (Paus. vi. xxi.-xxii.), and therefore doubtless in the vicinity of 
the modern village of Mirdka (see Leake's Morea, ii. p. 211), with which some are 
inclined to identify it. (Midler's Dorians, ii. p. 463, E. T. Kiepert, Blatt. vii.) 

5 The correctness of this measurement, as compared with others in Herodotus, 
or indeed in the Greek writers generally, has been noticed by Col. Leake (Journal 
of Geograph. Soc. vol. ix. part i. p. 11). There is no reason to believe that the 
road was actually measured, but it was so frequently traversed that the distance 
came to be estimated very nearly at its true length. 

6 Fifteen hundred furlongs (stades) are about equal to 173 English miles. [The 
real distance of Heliopolis from the sea, at the old Sebennytic mouth, is about 110 
miles, or 100 in a direct line. — G. W.] 

7 The site of Heliopolis is still marked by the massive walls that surrounded it, 
and by a granite obelisk bearing the name of Osirtasen I. of the 12th dynasty, 
dating about 3900 years ago. It was one of two that stood before the entrance to 
the temple of the Sun, at the inner end of an avenue of sphinxes ; and the apex, 
like some of those at Thebes, was once covered with bronze (doubtless gilt), as is 
shown by the stone having been cut to receive the metal casing, and by the testi- 
mony of Arab history. Tradition also speaks of the other obelisk of Heliopolis, and 
of the bronze taken from its apex. Pliny (36, 8) supposes that Mitres, the first 
king who erected an obelisk, held his court at Heliopolis, and that those monuments 
were dedicated to the Sun ; but that depended upon what nod the temple belonged 
to, the obelisks at Thebes being erected to Amun, and in other places to other deities. 
The name of Heliopolis was ei-n v -re, ''the abode of the Sun," from which the Hebrew 
On or A6n corrupted into Aven (Ezek. xxx. 17) was taken, and which was trans- 
lated Beth-Shemesh, "the house of the Sun" (Jercm. xliii. 13). The Arabs called 
it Ain Shems, " fountain of the Sun," from the spring there, which the credulous 
Christians believed to have been salt until the Virgin's visit to Egypt. The Arabic 
name of the neighbouring village, Matarceh, was supposed to signify "fresh water/' 
and to refer to the fountain ; but this is an error, as the masculine word Ma, " water," 
would require the name to be Ma-taree. (See M. Eg. W., vol. i. p. 295; and on 
the balsam of Heliopolis see my n. on ch. 107, B. iii.) In later tunes the artificial 
Amnis Trajanus ran a short distance to the northward of Heliopolis; and on that 
side of the city were lakes supplied with water from the neighbouring canal. The 
large and lofty crude brick walls of Heliopolis enclosed an irregular area measuring 
3750 feet by 2870, having the houses on the north side covering a space of 5*75,000 
square feet, to the south of which stood the temple of the Sun. This occupied a 
large portion of a separate enclosure, or temenos, at one side of the town ; and a long 
avenue of sphinxes, described by Strabo, led to the two obelisks before the temple 
(see plan). Some of the sphinxes may still be traced, as well as the ruins of the 
houses, which, like those of Bubastis, stood on a higher level than the temenos, ow- 
ing to their foundations having been raised from time to time, while the temple re- 
mained in its original site. In Strabo's time the houses were shown where Plata 
and Eudoxus lived while studying under the priests of Heliopolis; but the city 


becomes narrow, the Arabian range of hills, which has a direction 
from north to south, shutting it in upon the one side, and the 
Libyan range upon the other. The former ridge runs on with- 
out a break, and stretches away to the sea called the Erythraean ; 
it contains the quarries 8 whence the stone was cut for the pyra- 
mids of Memphis : and this is the point where it ceases its first 
direction, and bends away in the manner above indicated. 9 In 
its greatest length from east to west, it is, as I have been inform- 
ed, a distance of two months' journey ; towards the extreme 
east its skirts produce frankincense. Such are the chief features 
of this range. On the Libyan side, the other ridge whereon the 
pyramids stand, is rocky and covered with sand ; its direction 
is the same as that of the Arabian ridge in the first part of its 
course. Above Heliopolis, then, there is no great breadth of 
territory for such a country as Egypt, but during four days' sail 
Egypt is narrow ; l the valley between the two ranges is a level 

which had for ages been the seat of learning, lost its importance after the accession 
of the Ptolemies, and the schools of Alexandria took the place of the ancient col- 
leges of Heliopolis (see Strab. xvii.). The walls are in some places double, but 
throughout of great strength ; and here and there the positions of the gates may still 
be traced. From one of these on the S.E. side a large road ran through the desert 
to the Red Sea, and a smaller one led across the Mokuttum hills (behind Cairo) by 
what is called the " petrified forest," and rejoined the valley of the Nile near the 
quarries of " the Trojan hill." A stone gateway has lately been found at Heliopolis, 
with the name of Thothmes III.— [G. W.] 

8 The quarries from whic'h the stone for the casing of the pyramids was taken 
are in that part of the modern El-Mokuttum range of hills called by Strabo the 
"Trojan mountain " (Tpwifcbv 6pos. xvii. p. 114*7), and now Gebel Masarah or Toora 
Masarah, from the two villages below them on the Nile. Toora, though signifying 
in Ar. a " canal," is evidently the Troja of Strabo, which stood in this neighbour- 
hood, and which he pretends was built by and named after the Trojan captives of 
Menelaus. But the probability is that some Egyptian name was converted by the 
Greeks into Troja, and by the Arabs into Toora; and we may perhaps ascribe to it 
the same origin asthe"Tyrian camp " at Memphis mentioned by Herodotus (see 
note 5 on ch. 112). The employment of the stone in the pyramids, and the names 
of the early kings found there, show that these quarries were already used by the 
ancient Egyptians from the time of the 4th to the 18th dynasty (as well as after 
that period), and consequently during the Shepherd occupation of Memphis. On 
one tablet was the representation of a large stone on a sledge drawn by oxen, hav- 
ing the name of Amosis (Ames), the first king of the 18th dynasty : and on others 
the date of the 42nd year of Amun-m-he (3rd of the 12th dynasty) and the names 
of later kings. The quarries are still worked by the modern Egyptians, and this 
even-grained magnesian limestone is used for floors of rooms and for other building 
purposes. — [G. W.] 

■ That is, towards the Erythraean Sea, or Arabian Gulf. [The bend of the 
mountain is really where Cairo now stands, whence it runs towards the Red Sea. 
The notion of Herodotus respecting its extent to the E. was vague, and he evidently 
confounds, or connects, it with the peninsula of Arabia, the country of incense ; 
though he speaks of the mountain-range on the E. of the Nile extending southwards 
along the Red Sea. Its breadth from the Nile to the Red Sea direct is 82 miles in 
lat. 30", increasing to 175 in lat. 24°.— G. W.] 

1 Tluit is, from Heliopolis southward; and he says it becomes broader again 
beyond that point. Bis 200 stadia are about 22| to 23 miles. The whole breadth 


plain, and seemed to me to be, at the narrowest point, not more 
than two hundred furlongs across from the Arabian to the Lib- 
yan hills. Above this point Egypt again widens. 2 

9. From Heliopolis to Thebes is nine days' sail up the river ; 
the distance is eighty-one schcenes, or 4860 furlongs. 3 If we 
now put together the several measurements of the country we 
shall find that the distance along shore is, as I stated above, 
3600 furlongs, and the distance from the sea inland to Thebes 
6120 furlongs. Further, it is a distance of eighteen hundred 
furlongs from Thebes to the place called Elephantine. 

10. The greater portion of the country above described seem- 
ed to me to be, as the priests declared, a tract gained by the 
inhabitants. For the whole region above Memphis, lying be- 
tween the two ranges of hills that have been spoken of, appeared 
evidently to have formed at one time a gulf of the sea. 4 It 
resembles (to compare small things with great) the parts about 
Ilium and Teuthrania, Ephesus, and the plain of the Meeander. 5 
In all these regions the land has been formed by rivers, whereof 
the greatest is not to compare for size with any one of the five 

of the valley from the Eastern to the Western hills is only from 12 to 15 m. This 
must have appeared a very great change after leaving the spacious Delta, a level 
plain, without any mountains being seen to the E. or W. The four days, reckoning, 
as he does, 540 stadia to a day, would be about 245 Eng. m., or to about the vicin- 
ity of Sioot; but it cannot be the spot, where he thinks the valley "becomes 
broader," according to his calculation of nine days to Thebes, which would require 
it to be less than half-way, or about Gebel-aboofaydeh, and this would agree still 
less with his description of the increasing breadth of the valley, which is there only 
7 miles from the Eastern to the Western hills. — [G. W.] 

2 Compare the description of Scylax (Peripl. p. 103), who says that Egypt is 
shaped like a double-headed battle-axe (ireXfKvs or bipennis), the neck which joins 
the two heads being in the vicinity of Memphis. 

3 The nine days' sail, which Herodotus reckons at 4860 stadia, would give about 
552 Eng. miles ; but the distance is only about 421, even following the course of 
the river. From the sea to Thebes he reckons 6120 stadia, at the least eomputation 
— about 700 miles — but the distance is by modern measurement only 566 miles ; 
and his distance of 1800 stadia from Thebes to Elephantine, at least 806 miles, ex- 
ceeds the truth by above 700 stadia, being really 124 miles. — [G. W.] 

4 See above, notes on ch. 5. Herodotus says, most of the country is "acquired 
by the Egyptians," and "a gift of the river;" but as the same deposit continues 
throughout the whole valley, these remarks can only apply to the original formation 
of the land; the soil since the time that Egypt was first inhabited being only deeper, 
and more extended E. and W. towards the mountains ; and whatever form the 
valley may have had in the early ages of the world, it could not have been a gulf 
of the sea since Egypt was inhabited. — [G. W.] 

6 In some of these places the gain of the land upon the sea has been very great. 
This is particularly the case at the mouth of the Mwander, where the alluvial plain 
has advanced in the historic times a distance of 12 or 13 miles. (See note to Book 
i. ch. 142.) At Ephesus there is now a plain of three miles between the temple and 
the sea (Leake's Asia Minor, p. 259, note), which has been entirely created since 
the days of Herodotus. At the mouths of the Scamander and the CaYcus (which 
drained Teuthrania, Strab. xiii. p. 883, Plin. H. N. v. 30), the advance of the land, 
though less, is still very perceptible. 

Chap. 9, 10. 



mouths of the Nile. 6 I could mention other rivers also, far infe- 
rior to the Nile in magnitude, that have effected very great 
changes. Among these not the least is the Acheloiis, which, 
after passing through Acarnania, empties itself into the sea 
opposite the islands called Echinades, 7 and has already joined 
one half of them to the continent. 8 

6 This signifies the natural branches of the Nile ; and when seven are reckoned, 
they include the two artificial ones, the Bolbitine and Bucolic or Phatmetic, which 
Herodotus says were the work of man. See note * on ch. 17. — [G. W.] 

7 These islands, which still bear the same name among the educated Greeks, 
consist of two clusters, linked together by the barren and rugged Petald. The 
northern cluster contains 15 or 16 islands, the principal of which is Dhragondra. 
The southern contains only five or six : the most important are Oxici, Makri, and 
Vromona. They are British dependencies, being included in the Ionian islands. 
Except Oxid, they all lie north of the present mouth of the Acheloiis (Aspro). See 
Leake's Northern Greece, vol. iii. pp. 30-1. 

8 That the Acheloiis in ancient times formed fresh land at its mouth with very 

Map of the country about the mouth of the River Acheloiis, chiefly after Kiepert. 

N.B. The dark lines mark the ancient coast and islands. 

great rapidity is certain, from the testimony of various writers besides Herodotus. 
Thucydides (ii. 102), Scylax (Peripl. p. 31), and Strabo (i. p. 87), all speak in 
equally strong terms on the subject. Thucydides even conjectures that in a short 
space of time all the Echinades would become portions of the continent. This pre- 
diction has failed ; . and at present, owing probably to the projection of the coast 
and the sweep of the current round it, the advance of the land is very slow and 
gradual. (Leake, iii. p. 570.) So far as appears, no island has been added to the 
shore since the time of Strabo. Col. Leake indeed says that he could only find two 
heights in this vicinity which seemed to him to have once been islands, viz., the 
peninsula of Kurtzolari (Strabo's Artemita), and a small hill opposite Petald ; but 
it may be questioned whether the representation of Kiepert (Blatt. xiii.} does not 
give a truer idea of the actual growth of the land. 


11. In Arabia, not far from Egypt, there is a long and nar- 
row gulf running inland from the sea called the Erythraean, 9 of 
which I will here set down the dimensions. Starting from its 
innermost recess, and using a row-boat, you take forty days to 
reach the open main, while you may cross the gulf at its widest 
part in the space of half a day. In this sea there is an ebb and 
flow of the tide every day. 1 My opinion is, that Egypt was 
formerly very much such a gulf as this — one gulf penetrated 
from the sea that washes Egypt on the north, 2 and extended 
itself towards Ethiopia ; another entered from the southern 
ocean, and stretched towards Syria ; the two gulfs ran into the 
land so as almost to meet each other, and left between them 
only a very narrow tract of country. Now if the Nile should 
choose to divert his waters from their present bed into this 
Arabian gulf, what is there to hinder it from being filled up by 
the stream within, at the utmost, twenty thousand years ? For 
my part, I think it would be filled in half the time. How then 
should not a gulf, even of much greater size, have been filled up 
in the ages that passed before I was born, by a river that is at 
once so large and so given to working changes ? 

12. Thus I give credit to those from whom I received this 
account of Egypt, and am myself, moreover, strongly of the same 
opinion, since I remarked that the country projects into the sea 
further than the neighbouring shores, and I observed that there 
were shells upon the hills, 3 and that salt exuded from the soil 

9 The Greeks generally did not give the name Erythraean, or Red Sea, to the 
Arabian Gulf, but to all that part of the Indian Ocean reaching from the Persian 
Gulf to India (as in ii. 102; and iv. 39). It was also applied to the Persian Gulf 
(i. 1, 180, 189), and Herodotus sometimes gives it to the Arabian Gulf, and even the 
western branch between Mount Sinai and Egypt (ii. 158). Even Taprobane (now 
Ceylon) was placed in the Erythraean Sea, towards the Golden Chersonesus. Aga- 
tharcides is careful in distinguishing the " Red Sea " from the Arabian Gulf. Herod- 
otus reckons the length of this gulf at 40 days' passage in a rowing boat, and its 
breadth at half a day in the broadest part; but in this last he probably had in view 
the upper part of the Suez Gulf. The real length of the Red Sea, or Arabian Gulf, 
from the straits of Bab-el-Mandeb to Suez is 1400 Eug. m., and its greatest 
breadth, in lat. 18°, is 175 ; and the broadest part of the Suez Gulf is 25 miles.— 

1 Herodotus is perfectly right in speaking of the tide in this gulf. At Suez it is 
from 5 to 6 feet, but much less to the southward. — [G. W.] 

2 The Mediterranean, called by the Arabs "the White Sea" as well as "the 
North Sea."— [G. W.] 

3 The shells imbedded in rocks have led to much absurd reasoning till a very 
late time ; and the accuracy of Strabo's judgment is the more surprising since his 
mode of accounting for the upheavings and subsidings of the land, and the retire- 
ment and encroachments of the sea, as well as the gradual changes always going on 
from subterraneous agencies, accord with our most recent discoveries. " The 
reason," he says, "that one is raised, and the other subsides, or that the sea inun- 
dates some places, and recedes from others, is not from some being lower and other- 
higher, but because the same ground is raised or depressed . . . The cause mist 

Chap. 11-13. EGYPT ALLUVIAL. 13 

to such an extent as even to injure the pyramids ; and I noticed 
also that there is but a single hill in all Egypt where sand is 
found, 4 namely, the hill above Memphis ; and further, I found 
the country to bear no resemblance either to its border-land 
Arabia, or to Libya 5 — nay, nor even to Syria, which forms the 
seaboard of Arabia ; but whereas the soil of Libya is, we know, 
sandy and of a reddish hue, and that of Arabia and Syria inclines 
to stone and clay, Egypt has a soil that is black and crumbly, 
as being alluvial and formed of the deposits brought down by 
the river from Ethiopia. 

13. One fact which I learnt of the priests is to me a strong 
evidence of the origin of the country. They said that when 
Moeris was king, the Nile overflowed all Egypt below Memphis, 
as soon as it rose so little as eight cubits. Now Mceris had not 
been dead 900 years at the time when I heard this of the 
priests ; 6 yet at the present day, unless the river rise sixteen, 

therefore be ascribed either to the ground under the sea, or to that inundated by 
it, but rather to that below it . . . and we ought to draw our conclusions from things 
that are evident , and in some degree of daily occurrence, as deluges, earthquakes, 
and (volcanic) eruptions, and sudden risings of the land under the sea . . . and not 
only islands but continents are raised up, and large and small tracts subside, some 
being swallowed up by earthquakes." (Strabo, i. p. *74 et seqq.) On Volcanos, see 
Lyelfs Princ. of Geol. vol. i. c. 2 to 5.— [G. W.] 

4 The only mountain where sand abounds is certainly the African range, and 
though there are some lofty drifts in one place on the opposite side, just below the 
modern Suez road, the eastern part of the valley of the Nile is generally free from 
it. It does not, however, encroach on the W. to the extent that some have ima- 
gined ; and if downs of sand have been raised here and there along the edge of the 
cultivated land, the general encroachment is greatly in favour of the alluvial deposit. 
In Ethiopia the sand has invaded the W. bank, but this is owing to the fall in the 
level of the Nile, mentioned in n. *, ch. iii. and App. ch. iv. 4. — [G. W.] 

6 It is perfectly true that neither in soil nor climate is Egypt like any other 
country. The soil is, as Herodotus says, "black and crumbly." The deposit of the 
Nile, when left on a rock and dried by the sun, resembles pottery in its appearance 
and by its fracture, from the silica it contains ; but as long as it retains its moist- 
ure it has the appearance of clay, from its slimy and tenacious quality. It varies 
according to circumstances, sometimes being mixed with sand, but it is genet^ally of 
a black colour, and Egypt is said to have been called hence " black," from the pre- 
vailing character of its soil. The analysis given by Regnault in the Description de 
TEgypte is — 

11 • water. 

9 • carbon. 

6 • oxide of iron. 

4 • silica. 

4 • carbonate of magnesia. 
18 • carbonate of lime. 
48 • alumen. 


That the soil of Libya is red and sandy is true, and the abundance of iron, especially 
at the Little Oasis, makes it in some parts like that of Devonshire. — [G. W.] 

6 This would make the date of Moeris about 1355 u. c. ; but it neither agrees 
with the age of Amun-m-he III. of the Labyrinth, nor of Thothmes III., whom 
some have supposed to be Moeris, nor of Maire, or Papi (Apappus) of the 6th 


or, at the very least, fifteen cubits, it does not overflow the lands. 
It seems to me, therefore, that if the land goes on rising and 
growing at this rate, the Egyptians who dwell below lake Mceris, 
in the Delta (as it is called) and elsewhere, will one day, by the 
stoppage of the inundations, suffer permanently the fate which 
they told me they expected would some time or other befall the 
Greeks. On hearing that the whole land of Greece is watered 
by rain from heaven, and not, like their own, inundated by rivers, 
they observed — " Some day the Greeks will be disappointed of 
their grand hope, and then they will be wretchedly hungry ;" 
which was as much as to say, " If God shall some day see fit 
not to grant the Greeks rain, but shall afflict them with a long 
drought, the Greeks will be swept away by a famine, since they 
have nothing to rely on but rain from Jove, and have no other 
resource for water." 7 

14. And certes, in thus speaking of the Greeks the Egyp- 
tians say nothing but what is true. But now let me tell the 
Egyptians how the case stands with themselves. If, as I said 
before, the country below Memphis, 8 which is the land that is 
always rising, continues to increase in height at the rate at 
which it has risen in times gone by, how will it be possible for 
the inhabitants of that region to avoid hunger, when they will 
certainly have no rain, 9 and the river will not be able to over- 
dynasty. The Mceris, however, from whom these dates are calculated, appears to 
have been Menophres, whose £era was so remarkable, and was fixed as the Sothic 
period, n. c. 1322, which happened about 900 years before Herodotus' visit, only 
falling short of that sum by 33 years. It is reasonable to suppose that by Moeris 
he would refer to that king who was so remarkable for his attention to the levels of 
the Nile, shown by his making the lake called after him ; and who, from the records 
at Semneh, and from his name being again found in the Labyrinth (by Dr. Lepsius), 
is shown to have been Amun-m-he III. ; but if his date is to be taken from Herod- 
otus, it will not accord with this king of the 12th dynasty, who lived about 1500 
years before the historian ; and the Egyptians were not in the habit of diminishing anti- 
quity, nor of curtailing dates. Herodotus perhaps confounded two or more kings, 
to whom the name of Mceris had been given by the Greeks ; as the statue of Amun- 
oph, and a palace and a tomb of two Remeses, were ascribed to Memnon. See note 
9 on ch. 100, note 6 on ch. 142, and note 2 on ch. 148.— [G. W.] 

7 This resembles the common remark of the Egyptians at the present day re- 
garding those countries which depend for water on rain. — [G. W.] 

8 This with the Delta Herodotus seems to consider the only part raised by the 
annual deposit (cwttj yap 4<m t) av^avofj.efri), which is of course erroneous, as the al- 
luvium is left throughout the valley from Abyssinia to the sea. — [G. W.] 

9 Pomponius Mela calls Egypt " terra expers imbrium," and Proelus says if 
showers fell in Lower Egypt they were confined to that district, and heavy rain was 
a prodigy in the Theba'fd. Herodotus indeed affirms (iii. 10) that rain at Thebes 
portended some great calamity, and the conquest of Egypt by the Persians was 
thought to have been foretold by this unusual phenomenon at that place. In Up- 
per Egypt showers only occur about five or six times in the year, but every fifteen 
or twenty years heavy rain falls there, which will account for the deep ravines out 
in the valleys of the Theban hills, about the Tombs of the Kings; in Lower Egypt 

Chap. 14. 



flow their corn-lands ? At present, it must be confessed, they 
obtain the fruits of the field with less trouble than any other 
people in the world, the rest of the Egyptians included, since 
they have no need to break up the ground with the plough, nor 
to use the hoe, nor to do any of the work which the rest of man- 
kind find necessary if they are to get a crop ; l but the hus- 

rain is more frequent ; and in Alexandria it is as abundant in winter as in the 
south of Europe. These ravines, and the precautions taken to protect the roofs of 
the temples at Thebes against rain, show that it fell there of old as now ; but a con- 
tinuation of heavy rain in Upper Egypt, or even at Cairo, for two or three days 
would be considered a great wonder, and would cause many houses to fall down, as 
in 1823. (Cp. Exod. ix. 18, where the hailstorm is not said to have been the only 
one, but such as was unlike any before it in Egypt.) The Eastern desert, between 
the Nile and the Red Sea, where the mountains are higher, is frequently visited by 
heavy rain and thunderstorms in the winter, though the climate is drier than the 
valley of the Nile ; and every four or five years the torrents run down to the Red 
Sea on one side and to the Nile on the other. In less than a month's time after this 
tne beds of those torrents are covered with green herbs and numerous small flow- 
ers, and the Arabs take their flocks to graze there till the Khamseen Avinds and the 
hot sun of May have dried them up, and nothing remains except a few acacia-trees 
and the usual hardy shrubs of those arid districts. There are scarcely any springs 
in the valley of the Nile, and the few found there are probably caused by the filtra- 
tion of the Nile-water through the soil. — [G. W.] 

1 That the labour for growing corn was less in Egypt than in other countries is 
certainly true ; and in the low lands of the Delta, to which Herodotus here alludes, 

as well as in the hollows away from the river, near the edge of the desert, where 
the level of the land is the lowest, they probably dispensed with the plough, as at 
the present day, and simply dragged the mud with bushes after the seed had been 
thrown upon it, driving in a number of sheep, goats, or pigs, to tread in the grain ; 

but for other crops considerable labour was required in raising water to irrigate the 
land ; and during the summer and autumn few soils require more attention than in 
the dry climate of Egypt. Though the fields were occasionally sown, as now, by 
casting the seed into the mud on the retiring of the waters, this was not the uni- 



Book II. 

bandman waits till the river has of its own accord spread itself 
over the fields and withdrawn again to its bed, and then sows 

versal custom among the Egyptians, and the plough is always represented in the 
agricultural scenes, both in Upper Egypt and on the monuments about Memphis. 

Chap. 14. 



his plot of ground, and after sowing turns his swine into it — 
the swine tread in the oorn 2 — after which he has only to await 

The furrows were not deep ; and Diodorus and Columella say that they were con- 
tented to " trace slight furrows with a light plough on the surface of the land," a 
mode of tillage resembling the scarificatib of the Romans, continued in Egypt at the 
present day. After the plough followed the hoe to break the clods; and the land 
having been prepared, the sower was sent in, who threw the seed broadcast over 
the field. The land was all open, having no hedge-rows, but merely simple land- 
marks to define the boundaries of a farm or field, as with the Jews (Deut. xix. 14), 
and sometimes an estate was separated from its neighbour by a large canal, from 
which smaller channels distributed the water in proper directions through the fields. 

When the Nile was low, the water was raised by the pole and bucket, the shadoof 
of modern Egypt, and by other means ; and this attention to artificial irrigation, 
instead of depending for it on rain, is alluded to in Deuteronomy xi. 10. There is 
one instance, and one only, of men drawing the plough in Egypt. The painting, 
which is from a tomb at Thebes, is preserved in the Louvre. Two men are at the 
end of the pole, and two others pull a rope attached to the base where the handle, 
pole, and share unite ; another holds the plough as usual, and the rest of the scene 
is like that in other agricultural scenes, with the hoeing, sowing broadcast, and the 
harvest operations. — [G. W.] 

2 Plutarch, yElian (Nat. Animal, x. 16, on the authority of Eudoxus), and Pliny, 
mention this custom of treading in the grain " with pigs " in Egypt ; but no in- 
stance occurs of it in the tombs, though goats are sometimes so represented in the 
paintings. It is indeed more probable that pigs were turned in upon the land to 
eat up the weeds and roots ; and a painting at Thebes, where pigs are introduced 
with water-plants, seems to point to this fact ; their habits were ill suited to benefit 
the farmer after the seed had been sown ; and to muzzle each pig, when goats or 
Vol. II.— 2 



Book II. 

the harvest. The swine serve him also to thrash the grain, 2 
which is then carried to the garner. 

other animals abounded, would have been lost labour. In the district of Gower, in 
South Wales, corn is trodden in by sheep to this day. — [G. W.] 

3 The paintings show that ox n were commonly u-ed to tread out the grain from 

Chap. 15. 



15. If then we choose to adopt the views of the Ionians 
concerning Egypt, we must come to the conclusion that the 

the ear at harvest-time, and occasionally, though rarely, asses were so employed ; 

but pigs not being sufficiently heavy for the purpose, are not likely to have been 

substituted for oxen. This process was 

performed, as it is still in Italy, Spain, 

and other countries, by driving the oxen 

(horses or mules) over the corn strewed 

upon the ground, or upon a paved area 

near the field ; and the Jews, who also 

adopted it, were forbidden to muzzle the 

ox when treading out the corn (Deut. xxv. 
4). In later times the Jews appear also to 
have used "threshing instruments," and 
the word dus, " treading," in the sentence 
41 Oman was threshing wheat " (1 Chron. 
xxi. 20, 23), may merely have been re- 
tained from the earlier custom of tritura- 
ting by oxen. Another more distinct mention of a "new sharp threshing instru- 
ment having teeth " is found in Isaiah (xli. 15), which calls to mind the Noreg, or 
corn-drag, of modern Egypt, a name closely resembling the Hebrew Iforeg, applied 
to the threshing instruments of Oman (as in Isaiah), and the oxen he offered to 
David were doubtless those that had been yoked to it. The modern Egvptian 
Ndreg is drawn by two oxen, and consists of a wooden frame, with three axles, on 
which are fixed circular iron plates, the first and last having each four, the centre 
one three plates; and these not only force out the grain but chop the straw as the 
machine is dragged over it. It appears to be very similar to the tribulum of the 
Romans mentioned by Varro (de Ee rustica, i. 52), who describes it as " a frame 


Egyptians had formerly no country at all. For the Ionians 4 say 
that nothing is really Egypt 5 but the Delta, which extends 
along shore from the Watch-tower of Perseus, 6 as it is called, to 
the Pelusiac Salt-pans, 7 a distance of forty schcenes, and stretches 

made rough by stones, or pieces of iron, on which the driver or a weight was placed, 
and this being drawn by beasts yoked to it pressed out the grain." The "ploste- 
mum Pcenicum " was doubtless introduced into Spain by the Phoenicians. — [G. AW] 

4 Under the general expression of " Ionians " in this passage, Herodotus has 
been thought to mean principally, if not solely, Hecataeus. (Muller ad Hecat. 
Fragm. Fr. 295 and 296.) Col. Mure shows satisfactorily (Literature of Greece, 
vol. iv. p. 148, note *) that this is not the case, since the persons here spoken of 
divided the world into three parts (infra, ch. 16), Hecataeus into two. (See the 
map, note to Book iv. ch. 36.) Perhaps the allusion is to Anaximander, who as a 
geographer had preceded Hecataeus. (Strab. i. p. 10; Agathemer. i. 1.) 

8 There is no appearance of the name "Egypt" on the ancient monuments, 
where the country is called " Chemi," represented in hieroglyphics by the tail of a 
crocodile. Chemi, " the black land," " the land of Ham," or of Kheni (the Egyp- 
tian god Pan, or the Generative principle of Nature) is said by Plutarch to have 
been so called from the " blackness of the soil." Kheni is singularly like the Greek Ham (Kham), the Hebrew name of the patriarch, signifies also "soot," and 
is like the Arabic hem, hand, " hot ; " and the Hebrew horn (or klwm), signifying 
brown (or black), as in Gen. xxx. 32, 40, is also " burnt up." iEgyptus was in old 
times the name of the Nile, which was so called by Homer (Odys. iv. 477 ; xiv. 
257); and Strabo (xvii. p. 691) says the same was the opinion of Nearchus. Mane- 
tho pretends that the country received the name from JSgyptus, a surname of King 
Sethos (or Sethi). Aristotle thinks that " ^Egypt was formerly called Thebes," and 
Herodotus states, in opposition to the opinion of the " Ionians," that " Thebes 
(i. e. the Thebaid) had of old the name of Egypt." And if this is not confirmed by 
the monuments, the word " Egypt " was at all events connected with Coptos, a city 
of the Thebaid. From Kc-bt, Koft, or Coptos the modern inhabitants have been 
called Copts: its ancient name in hieroglyphics was Kebt-hor ; and Mr. Poole is evi- 
dently right in supposing this to be the same as the Biblical Caphtor. He thinks the 
name to be composed of Ala, "land," andrwros; and to be traced in the Ai- 
Caphtor, "land (or coast) of Caphtor," in Jeremiah (xlvii. 4). The word Coptitic 
is found in a Gnostic papyrus, supposed to be of the second century (see note 3 on 
ch. 83). Egypt is said to have been called originally Actia, and the Nile Aetos and 
Siris. Upper Egypt, or the Thebaid, has even been confounded with, and called. 
Ethiopia; perhaps too by Pliny (vi. 35; see note 6 on ch. 110); Nahum (iii. 9) calls 
Ethiopia and Egypt the strength of No (Thebes); and Strabo says (i. p. 57) that 
Mcnelaus' journey to Ethiopia really meant to Thebes. The modern name Musr or 
Misr is the same as the Biblical Mizraim, i. e. "the two Misrs" applied to Egypt, 
which corresponds to "the two regions" of the sculptures; but the word Misr 
does not occur on the monuments. Mr. Poole notices the meaning of the Arabic 
Misr, "red mud," and the name Rahab, "the proud," given to Egypt in the Bible. 
Of Caphtor, see Deut. ii. 23 ; Amos ix. 7. See note 5 on ch. 106.— [G. W.] 

6 This tower stood to the W. of the Canopic mouth ; and, as Rennell supposes, 
on the point of Aboukir, not, as Strabo thinks, on a sandy point at the Bolbitine 
mouth. The Canopic was by some called the Heracleotic mouth, from the city of 
Hercules (see n. 1 ch. 113). The name Canopus, written more correctly by Herodo- 
tus Kavvfros, said to signify x?^ ai0V eSa^ov, has been derived from kahi noub, 
"golden land." The term "Canopic," applied to sepulchral vases with a human 
head, is quite arbitrary. — [G. W.] 

7 The Greek, like 'the modern, name of Pelusium, is thought to have been de- 
rived from the mud that surrounded it, irrjAby in Greek, and Teen in Arabic, signify- 
ing "mud." It is now called Teench. It is, however, very probably taken from 
the old Egyptian name, and not Greek. Larcher considers the rapixtiai to be called 
from the embalmed mummies preserved there, but the name evidently applies to the 


inland as far as the city of Cercasorus, 8 where the Nile divides 
into the two streams which reach the sea at Pelusium and 
Canobus respectively. The rest of what is accounted Egypt 
belongs, they say, either to Arabia or Libya. But the Delta, 
as the Egyptians affirm, and as I myself am persuaded, is form- 
ed of the deposits of the river, and has only recently, if I may use 
the expression, come to light. If then they had formerly no 
territory at all, how came they to be so extravagant as to fancy 
themselves the most ancient race in the world ? Surely there 
was no need of their making the experiment with the children 
to see what language they would first speak. But in truth I 
do not believe that the Egyptians came into being at the same 
time with the Delta, as the Ionians call it ; I think they have 
always existed ever since the human race began ; as the land 
went on increasing, part of the population came down into the 
new country, part remained in their old settlements. In ancient 
times the Thebais bore the name of Egypt, a district of which 
the entire circumference is but 6120 furlongs. 

16. If then my judgment on these matters be right, the 
Ionians are mistaken in what they say of Egypt. If, on the 
contrary, it is they who are right, then I undertake to show that 
neither the Ionians nor any of the other Greeks know how to 
count. For they all say that the earth is divided into three 
parts, Europe, Asia, and Libya, whereas they ought to add a 
fourth part, the Delta of Egypt, since they do not include it 
either in Asia or Libya. 9 For is it not their theory that the 

salt-pans, as in ch. 113, where Herodotus mentions others near the Canopic mouth. 
— [G. W.] Lepsius suggests that Pelusium means "Philistine-town" (Chronologie 
der JEgypter, vol. i. p. 341), and regards it as so called because it was the last town 
held by the Hyksos, Avhom he believes to have been Philistines, before their final 
expulsion from Egypt. 

8 Or Cercasorum. It is impossible to say which form Herodotus intended. 

Though Egypt really belongs to the continent of Africa, the inhabitants were 
certainly of Asiatic origin ; and the whole of the valley of the Nile has been peo- 
pled by the primeval immigration of a Caucasian race. This seems to be indicated 
also by the Bible history, where the grandsons of Noah are made the inhabitants of 
Ethiopia, Egypt, Libya, and Canaan ; and Juba, according to Pliny, affirms with 
reason that the people of the banks of the Nile from Syene to Meroe, were not 
Ethiopians (blacks) but Arabs. Till a later time half Egypt was ascribed to Africa, 
"which extended to the sources of the Nile" (Strabo, ii. p. 170), and "the Tanais 
and Nile were the limits of Asia " (Plin. iii. Prooera.) ; but more reasonable people, 
says Strabo (i. p. 51), think the Arabian Gulf the proper separation of the two conti- 
nents rather than the Nile. Ptolemy gives both banks of the Nile to Africa (iv. 5). 
Herodotus justly blames the inconsistency of making Egypt belong to neither conti- 
nent, and of considering the country and its people a new creation. In Book iv. 
chs. 39 and 41, Herodotus does not mean to exclude Egypt both from Asia and 
from Libya, as he shows by mentioning the ships of Neco sailing from the Arabian 
Gulf round Libya to the Mediterranean coasts of Egypt (ch. 42) ; he treats Libya as 
a distinct region, lying W. of Egypt, and makes Egypt itself the division between it 


Nile separates Asia from Libya ? As trie Nile therefore splits 
in two at the apex of the Delta, the Delta itself must be a sepa- 
rate country, not contained in either Asia or Libya. 

17. Here I take my leave of the opinions of the Ionians, and 
proceed to deliver my own sentiments on these subjects. I con- 
sider Egypt to be the whole country inhabited by the Egyptians, 
just as Cilicia is the tract occupied by the Cilicians, and Assyria 
that possessed by the Assyrians. And I regard the only proper 
boundary-line between Libya and Asia to be that which is 
marked out by the Egyptian frontier. For if we take the boun- 
dary-line commonly received by the Greeks, 10 we must regard 
Egypt as divided, along its whole length from Elephantine and 
the Cataracts to Cercasorus, into two parts, each belonging to a 
different portion of the world, one to Asia, the other to Libya ; 
since the Nile divides Egypt in two from the Cataracts to the 
sea, running as far as the city of Cercasorus 1 in a single stream, 

and Asia. But in a geographical point of view his description is very unsatisfactory. 
Diodorus seems to think that Herodotus made the Nile the boundary of Libya. 
-[G. W.] 

10 That is, the course of the Nile ; which is made the boundary by Strabo (ii. p. 
170), Mela (i. 1, 2, and 4), Dionysius Periegetes (1. 230), and, in one place, by Aga- 
themer (i. 1). Scylax (Peripl. p. 105) and Pliny (H. N. v. 9) agree with Herodotus 
in assigning the whole of Egypt to Asia. Ptolemy (Geog. i. 1) is the first extant 
geographer who formally assigns the Red Sea and the Isthmus of Suez as the true 
boundary. In this he is followed by the Armenian geography (§ 16), and, in his 
description of the three continents, by Agathemer (ii. 6, 7). 

1 Strabo calls it Cercesura, others Cercasorum. It is noticed again in chs. 15 
and 97. Strabo shows it to have been in the same parallel as Ileliopolis, and Herod- 
otus considers the Delta to end at Ileliopolis (ii. 7), which brings the point of the 
Delta nearly opposite the present Shoobra. Here the river separated into three 
branches, the Pelusiac or Bubastite to the E., the Canopic or Heracleotic to the W., 
and the Sebennytic which ran between them, continuing in the same general line of 
direction northward which the Nile had up to this point, and piercing the Delta 
through its centre. The Tanitic, which ran out of the Sebennytic, was at first the 
same as the Busiritic, but afterwards received the name of Tanitic, from the city of 
Tanis (now San), which stood on its eastern bank ; and between the Tanitic and 
Pelusiac branches was the isle of Myecphoris, which Herodotus says was opposite 
Bubastis (ii. 106). The Mendesian, which also ran eastward from the Sebennytic, 
passed by the modern town of Mansoorah, and thence running by Mendes (from 
which it was called) entered the sea to the W. of the Tanitic. The Bolbitinc mouth 
was that of the modern Rosetta branch, as the Bucolic or Phatmetic was that of 
Damietta, and the lower parts of both these branches were artificial, or made by the 
hand of man; on which account, though Herodotus mentions seven, he confines the 
number of the mouths of the Nile to five. These two artificial outlets of the Nile are 
the only ones now remaining, the others having either disappeared, or being dry in 
most places during the summer ; and this fact seems to confirm an otherwise inex- 
plicable prophecy of Isaiah (xi. 15), thought by some to apply to the Euphrates — 
(He) "shall smite it in its seven streams, and make men go over dry-shod." Most 
ancient writers agree in reckoning seven mouths, the order of which, beginning from 
theE., was— 1. the Pelusiac or Bubastite ; 2. the Saitic or Tanitic ; 3. the Mendesian; 
4. the Bucolic or Phatmetic (now of Damietta); 5. the Sebennvtie ; 0. the Bolbitine (now 
of Rosetta); 7. the Canopic or Heracleotic; but eleven are mentioned by Pliny, to 
which he adds four others called "false mouths." Most of these false mouths are 

Chap. 17. THE NILE, 23 

but at that point separating into three branches, whereof the 
one which bends eastward is called the Pelusiac mouth, 2 and 
that which slants to the west, the Canobic. Meanwhile the 
straight course of the stream, which comes down from the upper 
country, and meets the apex of the Delta, continues on, dividing 
the Delta down the middle, and empties itself into the sea by a 
mouth, which is as celebrated, and carries as large a body of 
water, as most of the others, the mouth called the Sebennytic. 
Besides these there are two other mouths which run out of the 
Sebennytic called respectively the Saitic and the Mendesian. 
The Bolbitine mouth, and the Bucolic, are not natural branches, 
but channels made by excavation. 

18. My judgment as to the extent of Egypt is confirmed by 
an oracle delivered at the shrine of Ammon, of which I had no 
knowledge at all until after I had formed my opinion. It hap- 
pened that the people of the cities Marea 3 and Apis, who live 
in the part of Egypt that borders on Libya, took a dislike to the 
religious usages of the country concerning sacrificial animals, 
and wished no longer to be restricted from eating the flesh of 
cows. 4 So, as they believed themselves to be Libyans and not 

described by Strabo as very, shallow, being probably dry in summer , and there is 
reason to believe that the three great mouths were the Pelusiac, the Sebennytic, and 
the Canopic, which last was originally the only one (Herod, ii. 17 9) which strangers 
were allowed to enter. See note 8 on ch. 178. — [G. W.] 

2 From the Greek word for " mouth," o-To/xa, or from the Latin ostium, the Arabs 
have given the name ostoom or oshto&m to each of the mouths of the Nile, with its 
regular plural ashateem. The o is prefixed from the repugnance of Arabic to words 
beginning with s followed by another consonant. Thus too the French has etable, 
ecole, etat, the Spanish ispejo, and even the Italian places lo instead of il before 
specchio. — [G. W.] 

3 The town of Marea stood near the lake to which it gave the name Mareotis 
(see note 6 ch. 6.) It was celebrated for the wine produced in its vicinity, which 
appears to be included in the " wine of the Northern country," so often mentioned 
in the lists of offerings in the Egyptian tombs. Strabo says in this district is the 
greatest abundance of wine, which is confirmed by Athenaeus, noWr) 8e rj irepl tj\v 
yyv ravT-qv a/xTreAos. Virgil (Georg. ii. 91) says, " Sunt Thasiae vites, sunt et Mare- 
otides albas;" and the expression of Horace, " lymphatam Mareotico" meaning 
" Egyptian wine," points it out as the most noted of that country. Athenaeus says 
" its colour is white, its quality excellent, and it is sweet and light, with a fragrant 
bouquet, by no means astringent, nor affecting the head ; " and Strabo gives it the 
additional merit of keeping to a great age. Athenaeus, however, considers it inferior 
to the Teniotic, and that of Anthylla appears to have been preferred to it 
and to all others. See below, n. 5 on ch. 37, n. 5 on ch. 60, and n. 1 on ch. 77. — 
[G. W.] 

4 Though oxen were lawful food to the Egyptians, cows and heifers were for- 
bidden to be killed, either for the altar or the table, being consecrated (not as Her- 
odotus states, ch. 41, to Isis, but as Strabo says) to Athor, who was represented 
under the form of a spotted cow, and to whose temple at Atarbechis, " the city of 
Athor," as Herodotus afterwards shows, the bodies of those that died were carried 
(ch. 41). It is, however, very excusable in him to confound the two goddesses, as 
they often assume each other's attributes, and it is then difficult to distinguish them 


Egyptians, they sent to the shrine to say that, having nothing 
in common with the Egyptians, neither inhabiting the Delta 
nor using the Egyptian tongue, they claimed to be allowed to 
eat whatever they pleased. Their request, however, was refused 
by the god, who declared in reply that Egypt was the entire 
tract of country which the Nile overspreads and irrigates, and 
the Egyptians were the people who lived below Elephantine/ 
and drank the waters of that river. 

19. So said the oracle. Now the Nile, when it overflows, 
floods not only the Delta, but also the tracts of country on both 
sides the stream which are thought to belong to Libya and 
Arabia, 6 in some places reaching to the extent -of two days' 
journey from its banks, in some even exceeding that distance, 
but in others falling short of it. 

Concerning the nature of the river, I was not able to gain 
any information either from the priests or from others. I was 
particularly anxious to learn from them why the Nile, at the 
commencement of the summer solstice, begins to rise, 7 and con- 
tinues to increase for a hundred days — and why, as soon as that 

without the hieroglyphic legends. See note 5 on ch. 40, and note 2 on ch. 41. — 
[G. W.] 

5 Syene and Elephantine were the real frontier of Egypt on the S. ; Egypt ex- 
tending " from the tower (Migdol) of Syene" to the sea (Ezek. xxix. In). "When the 
frontier was extended southward by the conquests of the Pharaohs, lower Ethiopia 
to the second cataract (the modern Nubia) was still considered out of Egypt, though 
part of its dominions ; and the places there arc often designated as " foreign." — 
[G. W.] 

By the " tracts thought to belong to Libya and Arabia," Herodotus means the 
lands about the lake Mareotis, and those on the canal which communicated with the 
Red Sea, as well as on the E. bank of the Pelusiac branch. — [G. W.] 

7 Herodotus was surprised that the Nile should rise in the summer solstice and 
become low in winter. In the latitude of Memphis it begins to rise at the end of 
June, about the 10th of August jit attains to the height requisite for cutting the 
canals and admitting it into the interior of the plain ; and it is generally at its high- 
est about the end of September. This makes from 92 to low days, as Herodotus 
states. At the Cataracts the first rise is perceived some time sooner, about the end 
of May or the beginning of June, which led Seneca to say that " the first increase of 
the Nile was obsei'vable about the islands of Philffi." But in proportion as you go 
higher into Ethiopia, the inundation is earlier, and at Khartooin it begins about the 
2nd of May, or, according to some, "early in April." But it sometimes happens 
that it rises a little and then falls again before the regular inundation sets in, which 
is owing to partial rains in the upper part of its course. In Egypt the first change 
from the previous clearness of the stream in May is observed in its red and turbid 
colour, and it soon afterwards assumes a green appearance, when the water is no 
longer considered wholesome. For this reason a supply previously laid up in jars 
was then used by the ancient Egyptians until it re-assumed a turbid but wholesome 
red colour ; which explains a remark of Aristides (Orat. Egypt, vol. ii.) that the Egyp- 
tians are the only people who preserve water in jars, and calculate its age as others 
do that of wine. It was not long before the water of the river became wholesome 
again, and the latter part of his assertion, respecting its improvement by age when 
] neserved in jars, is only one of those antitheses in which the Greeks delighted. In 
large reservoirs it may be kept two or three years, as in some houses of Cairo, but 


number is past, it forthwith retires and contracts its stream, 
continuing low during the whole of the winter until the summet 
solstice comes round again. On none of these points could I 
obtain any explanation from the inhabitants, 8 though I made 

not improved like wine. Though very wholesome, the water of the Nile sometimes 
disagrees for a few days with strangers, or with persons who have sojourned for a 
few months in the desert ; which accounts for the Persians having brought water 
into Egypt from Asia, and agrees with the remark of Athenagus (Deipn. ii. p. 41), 
who attributes it to the nitre it contains. On the supposed causes of the inun- 
dation, see Eur. Hel. i. 3 ; Athen. ii. p. 278 seq. ed. Bip. ; and Palmerius n. in Oud- 
endorp's Lucan, b. x. 215 seq. — [G. W.] 

B The cause of the inundation is the water that falls during the rainy season in 
Abyssinia; and the range of the tropical rains extends even as farN. as latitude 17° 
43'. Homer was therefore right in giving to the Nile the epithet of Siiit€t4os irora- 
ixoio, and the passages quoted from the Koran relating to " the water sent by God 
from Heaven," inscribed on the Nilometer of the isle of Roda, show that the Arabs 
were at a very early time correctly informed respecting the cause of the inundation. 
In the highlands of Abyssinia the rains continue from the middle of June to the 
middle of September, but at the sources of the White river the rains seem to set in 
about the middle of March, and also to last three months. The Bahr-el-Azrek, to- 
gether with the more northerly Atbara, and their tributary streams, continue their 
supply of water from Abyssinia until the end of the inundation. The two main 
branches of the Southern Nile are the Bahr-el-A'biad and the Bahr-el-Azrek, which 
unite at the modern Khartoom, a new town on the point of land, about 160 miles 
to the N. of Sennar ; but though the latter is the smaller of the two, it is the one 
which possesses the real characteristics of the Nile, having the same black alluvial 
deposit, and the same beneficent properties when it inundates the land. The White 
river, on the contrary, has a totally different character, and its waters possess none 
of those fertilizing qualities for which the Nile is celebrated ; and this is probably 
the reason why the source of the Abyssinian branch has been so often looked upon 
as the real "fountain of the Nile." The names (Bahr el) Abiad and Azrek appear 
to signify the "white" and " black" rather than the " white " and "blue " (river). 
For though Aswed is commonly put in opposition to Abiad(jxs " black" and " white"), 
Azrek, which is properly "blue," is also used for what we call "jet black;" and 
Hossdn Azrek is a " dark black," not a "blue horse." It is true that "blue" is 
applied to rivers, as Nil ab, "blue water" (or " river") to the Indus, and the Sutlej 
is still the " blue river ; " but the name Azrek seems to be given to the Abyssinian 
branch to distinguish it from the Western or White Nile. Neel, or Nil, itself signi- 
fies " blue," and indigo is therefore " Neeleh ; " but the word is Indian not Arabic, 
Nila in Sanscrit being "blue." Though the Greeks called the river "Nile," as the 
Arabs do, that name is not found in the hieroglyphics, where the god Nilus and the 
river are both called " Hapi." The Hindoo Puranas also call the Nile "Nila" but 
it was not an old Egyptian name, and those writings are of late date. It is called 
in Coptic iaro, " river," or iom, "sea" (cp. 'H/ceaz/os), analogous to the modern Arabic 
name bahr, "river," properly "sea" (see note * on ch. 111). Nahum (iii. 3) speaks 
of " populous No (Thebes) whose rampart was the .sea." The resemblance of the 

name Hapi, " Nilus," and the bull-god Hapi or Apis (see ch. 28, B. 
*% iii.) recalls the Greek representation of a river under the form of a 

V "j ■" bull, like the Acheloiis and others (see iElian. Var. Hist. ii. 33). 

Nilus is not taken from Nahr or Nahl, " river ; " but Nahr, " river," 

I 91 ^& * s a PP ue( l t0 tne Euphrates, and Nahl to a ravine or torrent-bed, as 

A\ Isa ^ ( m 2 Kings xxiv. 7) to the " torrens JEgypti." Nahl is not a 

"river," but, like Nullah, a "ravine," in India. Cp. Nahr, Nar, 
Naro, and other names of rivers, the Nereids, &e. (See n. 2 on ch. 50). For black 
applied to water, cp. jiskav i/Scop of Homer. The Nile was said to have received its 
name from King Nilus, but this is doubtless a fable; and Homer calls it iEgyptus. 
The sources of the White Nile are still unknown ; and recent discoveries seem to as- 


every inquiry, wishing to know what was commonly reported — 
they could neither tell me what special virtue the Nile has 
which makes it so opposite in its nature to all other streams, 
nor why, unlike every other river, it gives forth no breezes 9 from 
its surface. 

20. Some of the Greeks, however, wishing to get a reputation 
for cleverness, have offered explanations of the phenomena of 
the river, for which they have accounted in three different ways. 
Two of these I do not think it worth while to speak of, further 
than simply to mention what they are. One pretends that the 
Etesian winds 1 cause the rise of the river by preventing the Nile- 
water from running off into the sea. But in the first place it 
has often happened, when the Etesian winds did not blow, that 
the Nile has risen according to its usual wont ; and further, if 
the Etesian winds produced the effect, the other rivers which 
flow in a direction opposite to those winds ought to present the 
same phenomena as the Nile, and the more so as they are all 
smaller streams, and have a weaker current. But these rivers, 
of which there are many both in Syria 2 and Libya, are entirely 
unlike the Nile in this respect. 

sign a different position from that conjectured by the explorers sent by Mohammed 
Ali, who brought it from the eastward, at the back or S. of the Galla mountains ; 
as did a very intelligent native of the Jimma country I met at Cairn, who affirmed 
that he had crossed the White river in going from his native land to Adderay or 
Hurrur and the Somauli district, on his way to the port of Berbera. Seneca's de- 
scription of the Upper Nile, u magnas solitudines pervagatus, et in paludea diffusus, 
gentibus sparsus," might suit the character of the White Nile, though he is wrong 
in supposing it onlv assumed a new one by forming a single stream ''about Phils." 
See Nat. Qujest. b.'iv. s. 2; cp. Plin. vi. 30.— [G. W.] 

9 If this signifies that breezes arc not generated by, and do not rise from, the 
Nile, it is true; but not if it means that a current of air does not blow up the valley. 
Diodorus (i. 38) is wrong in stating that "the Nile has no clouds about it, does not 
engender cold winds, and has no fogs." The fogs are often very thick, though they 
disappear before midday. — [G. W.] 

1 The annual N.W. winds blow from the Mediterranean during the inundation ; but 
they are not the cause of the rise of the Nile, though they help in a small degree to 
impede its course northwards. For the navigation of the river they are invaluable, 
as well as for the health of the inhabitants ; and a very large boat could scarcely 
ascend the river during the inundation unless aided by them. Nor can they be 
said to cause the inundation by driving the clouds to Abyssinia, as the rise of 
the Nile begins before they set in, though they may add to the water by later show- 
ers.— [G. W.] 

a It is possible to justify this statement, which at first sight seems untrue, by 
considering that the direction of the Etesian winds was north-westerly rather than 
north. (Arist. Meteor, ii. G; Diod. Sic. i. 39.) This was natural, as they are caused 
by the rush of the air from the Mediterranean and Egean, to fill up the vacuum 
caused by the rarefaction of the atmosphere over the desert lands in the neighbour- 
hood of the sea, which desert lands lie as much in Syria and Arabia on the cast, as 
in Africa on the south. Though Syria therefore has only a torrent bed generally 
dry (the Wady elArish, or Eiver of Egypt) which faces the north, it has many rivers 
which the Etesian winds might affect — all those, namely, which lace the vest. 

Chap. 20-22. THE OCEAN— MELTED SNOW. 27 

21. The second opinion is even more unscientific than the 
one just mentioned, and also, if I may so say, more marvellous. 
It is that the Nile acts so strangely, because it flows from the 
ocean, and that the ocean flows all round the earth. 3 

22. The third explanation, which is very much more plau- 
sible than either of the others, is positively the furthest from the 
truth ; for there is really nothing in what it says, any more 
than in the other theories. It is, that the inundation of the 
Nile is caused by the melting of snows. 4 Now, as the Nile flows 
out of Libya, 5 through Ethiopia, into Egypt, how is it possible 
that it can be formed of melted snow, running, as it does, from 
the hottest regions of the world into cooler countries ? Many 
are the proofs whereby any one capable of reasoning on the sub- 
ject may be convinced that it is most unlikely this should be 
the case. The first and strongest argument is furnished by the 
winds, which always blow hot from these regions. The second 
is, that rain and frost are unknown there. 6 Now, whenever 

3 That the Nile flowed from the ocean, and that the ocean flowed all round the 
earth, were certainly opinions of Hecatseus (Fr. 278). It is probable, therefore, that 
his account of the inundation is here intended. 

4 This was the opinion of Anaxagoras, as well as of his pupil Euripides and 
others (Diodor. i. 38 ; Euripid. Helena, beg s . ; Seneca, Nat. Quaest. iv. 2 ;'Ptol. Geog. 
iv. 9.) Herodotus and Diodorus are wrong in supposing snow could not be found 
on mountains in the hot climate of Africa ; perpetual snow is not confined to certain 
latitudes ; and ancient and modern discoveries prove that it is found in the ranges 
S. of Abyssinia. Nor is the heat always there what Herodotus imagines, and the 
cold of winter is often sensibly felt in the plains of Ethiopia about Gebel Birkel, far 
distant from high mountains, though the thermometer does not range below freez- 
ing. "The lower limit of perpetual snow is not a mere function of geographical 
latitude, or of mean annual temperature ; nor is it at the equator, or even within 
the tropics, that the snow-line reaches its greatest elevation above the level of the 
sea." (Humboldt, Cosmos, i. p. 828.) At the equator, on the Andes of Quito, the 
limit is at 15,790 feet above the sea; on the southern declivity of the Himalaya it 
lies at 12,982 feet, and on the northern declivity at 16,630; and the volcano of 
Aconcagua in lat. 32° 30', which was found " to be more than 1400 ft. higher than 
Chimborazo, was once seen free from snow " (p. 329). See also Lyell's Pr. of Geo- 
logy, c. vii.— [G. W.] 

5 That is from Central Africa, which was and still is the opinion of some geog- 
raphers. There appears more reason to place the source of the "White Nile" to 
the S. of the Abyssinian ranges, between lat. 7° and 8° N. ; though a branch does 
come from the W., called Adda or Jengeh, which seem to be two names of the 
same stream. — [G. W.] 

6 Herodotus was not aware of the rainy season in Sennar and the S.S.W. of 
Abyssinia, nor did he know of the Abyssinian snow which is mentioned in the in- 
scription of Ptolemy Philadelphus at Adulis, on the mountains beyond the Nile, "to 
the depth of a man's knee." (See Plin. vi. 34, and Vincent's Periplus.) The tropical 
rains do not extend as far N. as the Dar Shcgeeh (Shaikeeh) and the great bend of 
the Nile, where showers and storms only occur occasionally, generally about the 
beginning of the inundation, and where a whole year sometimes passes without rain. 
The tropical rains begin about the end of March or beginning of April on the White 
Nile in lat. 4° N., and both the White and Blue Niles begin to rise at Khartoom the 
first week in May. The climate there is then very unhealthy, even for the natives. 


snow falls, it must of necessity rain within five days ; 7 so that, 
if there were snow, there must be rain also in those parts. 
Thirdly, it is certain that the natives of the country are black 
with the heat, that the kites and the swallows remain there the 
whole year, and that the cranes, when they fly from the rigours 
of a Scythian winter, flock thither to pass the cold season. 8 If 
then, in the country whence the Nile has its source, or in that 
through which it flows, there fell ever so little snow, it is abso- 
lutely impossible that any of these circumstances could take 

The rain falls for many hours, but with intervals of clear weather and a strong sun, 
raising a vapour that causes a bad fever. The vegetation is very rapid and 
luxurious. That part of the valley immediately to the N. of the range of the rains 
is then infested with clouds of flies — a perfect plague — but they do not extend into 
the desert. Philostratus (Vit. Apoll. Tyan. ii. 9) says he does " not mean to gainsay 
the snows of the Ethiopians, or the hills of the Catadupi; " but he evidently disbe- 
lieves the accounts given of them. The cause of the two branches rising at the 
same time at Khartoom is the rain that falls at no great distance from that spot. 
The effect of the more southerly rains is felt afterwards. Calisthenes, the pupil of 
Aristotle, and afterwards Agatharcides and Strabo attributed the inundation to the 
rainy season in Ethiopia ; and correctly, for it is caused by this, and not by the 
melting of snow. See Athenagus, Epit, ii. 89 ; Diod. i. 41 ; Strabo, xvii. p. 1121. — 
[G. W.] 

T I have found nothing in any writer, ancient or modern, to confirm, or so much 
as to explain, this assertion. Aulus Gellius seems to have noticed it as an instance 
of "over rapid generalisation" (Epitom. lib. viii. c. 8); but his remarks on the sub- 
ject are lost. It does not appear that at present, either in Asia .Minor or in Southern 
Italy, rain necessarily follows snow within a certain number of days. But the mete- 
orology of the countries bordering on the Mediterranean has no doubt undergone 
great changes since the time of Herodotus. In some parts of England there is a 
saying, that "three days of white frost are sure to bring rain." 

B Cranes, and other wading birds are found, in the winter, in Upper Egypt, but 
far more in Ethiopia, and in spring immense flights of storks (CHeonia alba) collect 
together, which after soaring round in circles at a great height, return for the sum- 
mer to the N. From the migration of cranes to Ethiopia arose the fable of the 
Cranes and Pygmies. The Ardca einerea and garzetta, the platalea or spoonbill, 
the pelican, and some Others remain the whole year in Egypt. The Cms einerea 
winters in Ethiopia about Gebel Berkel. This: last has been strangely mistaken for 
an ostrich at Beni Hassan, and is probably the Grus undetermined by Pickering 
(p. 169). The Ibis is rarely seen except near the Lake Menzaleh, where ducks, 
coots, and numerous water-fowl abound. The avocet was a native of Egypt as early 
as the 12th dynasty. The Numidian demoiselle (Anthropoides Virgo)ia found, but 
not common, in Upper Egypt. Kites remain all the winter, and swallows also, 
though in small numbers, even at Thebes. The swallow was always the harbinger 
of spring, as in Greece and the rest of Europe; and the subject is represented on 
Greek vases, where a youth exclaims "Behold the swallow ! " and another answers 
"Then it is now spring." (Sec Panofka's Bilder ant. Lebens, pi. xvii. fig. 6.) Coys 
(as Mr. Cumby observes) went about in Rhodes to collect gifts on the return of the 
swallow, as for the "grotto" at the beginning of our oyster season, though with 
greater pretensions, as Athenraus, quoting Theognis, sho>vs (viii. p. 360), since they 
sometimes threatened to carry off what was not granted to their request : — " We 
Mill go away if you give us something; if not, we will never let you alone. We 
will either carry off the door, or the lintel, or the woman who sits within ; she is 
small, and we can easily lift her. If you give any gift, let it be large. Open, open 
the door to the swallow, for we are not old men, but boys." — [G. W.J 


23. As for the writer who attributes the phenomenon to the 
ocean/ his account is involved in such obscurity, that it is im- 
possible to disprove it by argument. For my part I know of 
no river called Ocean, and I think that Homer, or one of the 
earlier poets, invented the name, and introduced it into his 

24. Perhaps, after censuring all the opinions that have been 
put forward on this obscure subject, one ought to propose some 
theory of one's own. I will therefore proceed to explain what I 
think to be the reason of the Nile's swelling in the summer time. 
During the winter, the sun is driven out of his usual course by 
the storms, and removes to the upper parts of Libya. This is 
the whole secret in the fewest possible words ; for it stands to 
reason that the country to which the Sun-god approaches the 
nearest, and which he passes most directly over, will be scantest 
of water, and that there the streams which feed the rivers will 
shrink the most. 

25. To explain, however, more at length, the case is this. 
The sun, in his passage across the upper parts of Libya, affects 
them in the following way. As the air in those regions is con- 
stantly clear, and the country warm through the absence of cold 
winds, the sun in his passage across them acts upon them 
exactly as he is wont to act elsewhere in summer, when his 
path is in the middle of heaven — that is, he attracts the water. 1 
After attracting it, he again repels it into the upper regions, 
where the winds lay hold of it, scatter it, and reduce it to a 
vapour, whence it naturally enough comes to pass that the winds 
which blow from this quarter — the south and south-west — are 

9 The person to whom Herodotus alludes is Hecataeus. He mentions it also as 
an opinion of the Greeks of Pontus, that the ocean flowed round the whole earth 
(B. iv. ch. 8). That the Nile flowed from the ocean was maintained by Hecataeus, 
and by Euthymenes of Marseilles (Plut. de PI. Phil. iv. 1), who related that, "hav- 
ing sailed round Africa, he found, as long as the Etesian winds blew, the water 
forced into the Nile caused it to overflow, and that, when they ceased, the Nile, no 
longer receiving that impulse, subsided again. The taste of the water of the sea 
was also sweet, and the animals similar to those in the Nile." This mistake was 
owing to another river on the coast of Africa having been found to produce croco- 
diles and hippopotami. The name " Ocean " having been given by the Egyptians to 
the Nile does not appear to be connected with the remark of Herodotus, as it is 
not noticed by him but by Diodorus (i. 96), and Herodotus says he "never knew of 
a river being called Ocean." We see from Plut. Plac. Ph. iv. 1, that Eudoxns 
knew that the summer and winter seasons were different in the N. and S. hemi- 
spheres. — [G. W.] 

1 Herodotus does not here allude to the old notion of the sun being "fed by 
water," but to the moisture it attracts which is carried by the winds to the S., and 
then returned in the form of rain by the southerly winds. Compare Aristot. Meteor. 
ii. 2: Anacreon, Od. xix. viva . . . 6 8' '^Klos Sahaaaav. Cic. Nat. Deor. b. ii. — 
[G. W.] 


of all winds the most rainy. And my own opinion is that the 
sun does not get rid of all the water which he draws year by 
year from the Nile, but retains some about him. When the 
winter begins to soften, the sun goes back again to his old place 
in the middle of the heaven, and proceeds to attract water equal- 
ly from all countries. Till then the other rivers run big, from the 
quantity of rain-water which they bring down from countries 
where so much moisture falls that all the land is cut into gul- 
lies ; but in summer, when the showers fail, and the sun attracts 
their water, they become low. The Nile, on the contrary, not 
deriving any of its bulk from rains, and being in winter subject 
to the attraction of the sun, naturally runs at that season, unlike 
all other streams, with a less burthen of water than in the sum- 
mer time. For in summer it is exposed to attraction equally 
with all other rivers, but in winter it suffers alone. The sun, 
therefore, 1 regard as the sole cause of the phenomenon. 

26. It is the sun also, in my opinion, which, by heating the 
space through which it passes, makes the air in Egypt so dry. 
There is thus perpetual summer in the upper parts of Libya. 
Were the position of the heavenly regions reversed, so that, the 
place where now the north wind and the winter have their dwell- 
ing became the station of the south wind and of the noon-day, 
while, on the other hand, the station of the south wind became 
that of the north, the consequence would be that the sun, driven 
from the mid-heaven by the winter and the northern gales, 
would betake himself to the upper parts of Europe, as he now 
does to those of Libya, and then I believe his passage across 
Europe would affect the Ister exactly as the Nile is affected at 
the present day. 

27. And with respect to the fact that no breeze blows from 
the Nile, I am of opinion that no wind is likely to arise in very 
hot countries, for breezes love to blow from some cold quarter. 

28. Let us leave these things, however, to their natural course, 
to continue as they are and have been from the beginning. With 
regard to the sources of the Nile, 2 I have found no one among 

2 The sources of the great eastern branch of the Nile have long been discovered. 
They were first visited by the Portuguese Jesuit, Father Lobo, and afterwards by 
Bruce ; those of the White river are still unknown (see above n. 8 on eh. 19). Her- 
odotus affirms that of all the persons he had consulted, none pretended to give him 
any information about the sources, except a scribe of the sacred treasury of Minerva 
at Sais, who said it rose from a certain abyss beneath two pointed hills between 
Syene and Elephantine. This is an important passage in his narrative, as it involves 
the question of his having visited the Thebatd. lie soon afterwards (eh. 29) asserts 
that "as far as Elephantine he was an eye-witness" of what he describes; and yet, 
though so much interested about this great question, and persuaded that the hiero- 
grammat of Sais was joking, he did not when at Elephantine look or inquire whether 


all those with whom I have conversed, whether Egyptians, Lib- 
yans, or Greeks, 3 who professed to have any knowledge, except 
a single person. He was the scribe 4 who kept the register 
of the sacred treasures of Minerva in the city of Sais, and he 
did not seem to me to be in earnest when he said that he knew 
them perfectly well. His story was as follows : — " Between 
Syene, a city of the Thebais, and Elephantine, there are " (he 

the Nile actually rose beneath the peaked hills of Crophi and Mophi, nor detect the 
fallacy of the story about the river flowing from the same source northwards into 
Egypt and southwards into Ethiopia. Its course was as well known in his day at 
Elephantine as now. This, and the fact of his making so much of the Labyrinth, 
when the monuments of Thebes would have excited his admiration in a far greater 
degree, have been thought to argue against his having been at Thebes and Elephan- 
tine; and any one on visiting Elephantine would be expected to speak of it as an 
island rather than as a " city." It is, however, possible that his omitting to describe 
the monuments of Thebes, which to this day excite the wonder of all who. see them, 
may have been owing to their having been fully described by Hecataeus. The 
names Crophi and Mophi are like the unmeaning words used in joke, or in the nur- 
sery, by Orientals, at the present day ; the second repeating the sound of the first, 
and always beginning with m, as "fersh mersh," " salta malta," &c. Crophi and 
Mophi do not, as has been supposed, signify "bad" and "good." — [G. W.] 

Colonel Mure (Lit. of Greece, vol. iv. p. 387) compares the Crophi and Mophi of 
the Saitic tribe to the Gog and Magog " of our own nursery mythology" apparently 
forgetting that the words Gog and Magog come to us from Scripture (Ezek. xxxviii. 
2 ; ftev. xx. 8). The formation of unmeaning or absurd words by means of a rhym- 
ing repetition, together with a change of the initial letter, is common in our own 
language. With us the second word begins ordinarily, not with m, but with the 
labial nearest to m, viz. b, or with its cognate tenuis, p. Examples of this usage are 
— hurly-burly, hocus-pocus, higgledy-piggledy, hubbub, niminy-piminy, namby-pamby, 
&c. In hugger-mugger and pell-mell, we keep to the Oriental usage, and employ the 
m. In helter-skelter, hum-drum, and perhaps a few other words, we adopt an entirely 
different sound. 

3 This was one of the great problems of antiquity, as of later times; and Caesar 
is even reported to have said : — 

" spes sit mihi certa videndi 

Niliacos fontes, bellum civile relinquam." 

— Luc. Phars. x. 191. Cp. Hor. iv. Od. xiv. 45 : — 

" Fontium qui celat origines 

See above, note 8 , ch. 19.— [G. W.] 

4 The scribes had different offices and grades. The sacred scribes held a high 
post in the priesthood ; and the royal scribes were the king's sons and military men 
of rank. There were also ordinary scribes or notaries, who were conveyancers, 
wrote letters on business, settled accounts, and performed different offices in the 
market. The sacred scribes, or hierogrammats, had also various duties. Some, as 
the one here mentioned, were scribes of the treasury, others of the granaries, others 
of the documents belonging to the temple, &c. The scribes always had with them 
a bag, or case having wooden sides, ornamented with coloured devices generally on 
leather, and a pendent leather mouth tied by a thong to hold the ink-palette with 
its reed-pens, the papyrus-rolls, and other things they required, which was carried 
by an attendant slung at his back ; but in the house a box was sometimes used in 
its stead. Lucian says (Macrob. s. 4) they were remarkable for longevity, like the 
Brachmanes (Brahmins) of India, and others, owing to their mode of life. (Of 
their dress and duties, see note ' ch. 37, figs. 8, 9, and woodcut note 6 ch. 177.) 
-[G. W.] 


said) " two hills witli sharp conical tops ; the name of the one 
is Crophi, of the other, Mophi. Midway between them are the 
fountains of the Nile, fountains which it is impossible to fathom. 
Half the water runs northward into Egypt, half to the south 
towards Ethiopia/' The fountains were known to be unfathom- 
able, he declared, because Psammetichus, an Egyptian king, 
had made trial of them. He had caused a rope to be made, 
many thousand fathoms in length, and had sounded the fountain 
with it, but could find no bottom. By this the scribe gave me 
to understand, if there was any truth at all in what he said, 
that in this fountain there are certain strong eddies, and a re- 
gurgitation, owing to the force wherewith the water dashes 
against the mountains, and hence a sounding-line cannot be got 
to reach the bottom of the spring. 

29. No other information on this head could I obtain from 
any quarter. All that I succeeded in learning further of the 
more distant portions of the Nile, by ascending myself as high 
as Elephantine, and making inquiries concerning the parts be- 
yond, was the following : — As one advances beyond Elephantine, 
the land rises. 5 Hence it is necessary in this part of the river 
to attach a rope to the boat on each side, as men harness an ox, 
and so proceed on the journey. If the rope snaps, the vessel is 
borne away down stream by the force of the current. The 
navigation continues the same for four days, the river winding 
greatly, like the Mgeander, 6 and the distance traversed amount- 

5 This fact should have convinced Herodotus of the improbability of the story 
of the river flowing southwards into Ethiopia. That boats are obliged to be drag- 
ged by ropes in order to pass the rapids is true ; and in performing this arduous 
duty great skill and agility arc required, the men being often obliged to swim from 
rock to rock to secure the ropes and alter the direction of the draft. After passing 
the first cataract at Asouan (the ancient Syene), which is done in about five hours, 
the boat sails unimpeded to the second cataract, a distance of 232 miles ; a rocky 
bed of the river called Batn-el-IIadjar, "belly of stone," continues thenoe about 45 
m. to Semneh, after which it is navigable here and there, with occasional rapids, 
as far as the third cataract of Hannek, below Tombos, about hit. 19 40'. Beyond 
this is an unimpeded sail of 200 m. (passing the modern Ordee and Old Dongola) to 
the fourth cataract, about 18 m. above Gebel Berkel. From thence to the N. end 
of the isle of Meroe is a sail of about 240 m., the river being open some way further 
to the S., beyond the site of the city of Meroe' and the modern Shendy. Between 
Meroe and Dongola is the great bend or "elbow" of the Nile, where the course of 
the river changes from a northerly to a southerly direction, as described by Strabo 
(b. xvii. beg 6 .) Part of the route from Asouan to Meroe may be performed by land, 
leaving the Kile at Korosko, below Derr the capital of Nubia, from which point is a 
caravan round to the great bend at Aboo-Hamed, above Gebel Berkel, a journey 
of eight days with camels. — [G. W.] 

G The windings of the Maaander are perhaps at the present day still more re- 
markable than they were anciently, owing to the growth of the alluvial plain through 
which it ilows. (handler observes: "The river runs from the mouth of the lake 
with many windings, through groves of tamarisk, toward Miletus, proceeding by the 
right wing of the theatre in mazes to the sea, which is in view, and distant, as wo 


ing to twelve schoenes. Here you come upon a smooth and 
level plain, where the Nile flows in two branches, round an 
island called Tachompso. 7 The country above Elephantine is 

computed, about eight miles." (Travels, i. eh. 53.) A good representation of these 
sinuosities will be found in the Ionian Antiquities (vol. i. ch. iii. plate 1). By the 
age of Augustus the word " Maeander " had come to be used in its modern generic 
sense (Strab. xii. p. 835; Virg. v£n. v. 251). 

7 The distances given by Herodotus are 4 days through the district of Dodeca- 
schcenus to Tachompso Isle, then 40 days by land, then 12 days by boat to Meroe, 
altogether 56 days. The Nile, however, is not tortuous like the Maeander, nor is 
there any great bend before that near Korosko, and his isle of Tachompso is un- 
certain ; but as he speaks of its being inhabited partly by Egyptians, partly by 
Ethiopians, it is possible that he may have confounded it with Philaa, which Strabo 
calls "an abode common to" those two people. Ptolemy places 3Ietacompso op- 
posite Pselcis, where a large Egyptian fortress of very early date still remains, and 
which must have continued to be a strong post in the time of the Romans. It was 
at Pselcis that Petronius defeated the generals of Candace, before he advanced to 
Napata, and the island mentioned by Strabo, to which the routed enemy swam for 
protection, was perhaps the Tachompso of Herodotus. If so, that island has since 
been carried away. The large lake, said to have been in its vicinity, was merely the 
open Nile (a reach being probably called, as it now is, a " lake " or birkeh) ; and 
from thence was a march of 40 days by land to that part where the Nile was again 
navigable (at the island now called Tombos, on the frontier of Dongola). From 
this was a sail of 12 days more to Meroe. The omission of all mention of Napata, 
the old capital of Ethiopia, by the informant of Herodotus, might at first sight lead 
us to suppose the land-journey was through the desert (to Aboo-Hamed) ; but the 
distance of 12 days thence to Meroe is far too much; and Herodotus evidently 
speaks of the journey by the river-side to the spot where the Nile was again navi- 
gable. Gebel Berkel is apparently the "sacred mountain" mentioned by Strabo 
(xvi.), and it is always so called in the hieroglyphics. The distances from Syene to 
Napata, and from this to Meroe, do not agree with the position of Gebel Berkel, 
and if Napata was placed lower down at old Dongola, that position would agree 
better with the ancient measurements. They arc — 

m.p. Eng. miles. Aug. miles. 

Syene to Napata . . 514 nearly 474 Asotsan to Old Dongola .... 484 

Napata to Meroe . . 360 above 331J Dongola to Gebel Berkel 80 j Dongola to j 007 

G. Berkel to Meroe' Island 257 | Meroe Island f 66i 

874 about 804f — 

Total ... 821 

The Roman mile may be reckoned at 4860 feet ; for though I found 4785 to be 
its length, by measuring two, marked by milestones on the coast of Syria, and other 
authorities give it 4842 and 4828, or 4820 feet, Caval e Canina has shown it to be 
4861 English feet, or metres 1487*730. The great remains at Gebel Berkel, and 
the many pyramids near it, argue that it was the capital, unless indeed it was merely 
the " holy hill," like that of Sarabat el Khadem in the peninsula of Mount Sinai, 
chosen by the Egyptians as early as the reign of Osirtasen I. If " the small city 
of Napata " stood at old Dongola (formerly called Dankala), which was evidently the 
site of an ancient town, and has long been the capital of that part of Ethiopia, this 
might account for Meroe having a similar name, "Dunkalah." On the other hand, 
the distance, 80 Roman miles, from Tergedum to Napata, agrees well with that 
from old Dongola to Gebel Berkel ; and the large island (now Tangol or Tangos) 
just above old Dongola might answer to the I. of Gagaudes. On the whole, there 
is good reason for placing Napata at Gebel Berkel; and it is one of the greatest 
errors to suppose the ancients must always be right in their distances, or in any 
other information. The name fi-ape-t seems to signify " of Ape-t" or "Tape," as 
if it were derived from or an offset "of Thebes" (in Harris's Standards); and it was 
not unusual to give the names of Egyptian cities to those of Ethiopia, as was often 
done in Nubia. 

Vol. II.— 3 


inhabited by the Ethiopians, who possess one half of this island, 
the Egyptians occupying the other. Above the island there is 

The Itinerary of Antoninus gives these names of places in Lower Ethiopia (or 
Nubia) : 


Contra-Syone to Parembole {Ddbbd) . . 12 

TVitzi o 

Taphis (Tefi, Tayfee) ' . ' . 14 

Talmis (Kalabshee) . . 8 

Tutzis (Gerf Hossayn) . . 20 

Pselcis (Dakkeh) ... 12 

Corte (Kortee) ... 4 

Heirasycaminon (Maharraka) 4 


(About 73 3 /s English miles ; the real distance being about 11} by land, and by water about 

On the opposite bank : — 


Heirasycaminon to Contra-Pselcis ... 11 

" Contra-Talmis ... 24 

" Contra-Taphis . . 10 

" Philie 24 

" Syene .... 3 

(About 66i English miles.) 

Pliny (b. xxix.) mentions the towns taken by Petronius on his way to Napata :— 







Stadysis, remarkable for its cataract. 

Napata, plundered by him ; and he went 870 m.p. above Syene. 

The distances given by Pliny are — 


From Syene to Heirasycaminon 54 

Tama 75 

the Ethiopian district of Euonymiton 1'20 

Acina 54 

Pitara 25 

Tergedum (between which two is the 

island Gagaudes) .... 100 
Napata, a small city .... 80 

Then to Meroo island, the city being 60 m.p. from the beginning of tho 

island 360 

(About S04J English miles.) 


Ptolemy (Geog. iv. 5, V & 8) omits the names of towns between Syene and 
Pselcis; but opposite Pselcis he places Metacompso ; and then "after Pselcis and 
the great cataract (of Wadee Halfeh) he mentions Tasitia, Boum (BoW), Autoba, 
Phthuri, Piere, Ptemythis (jlreixvSiis), Abuncis, Cambysis cerarium, Erchoas, Sataeh- 
tha, Mori (Mopov), Nacis, and Tathis, on the W. bank ; and on the opposite side 
Pnups, Berethis, Gerbo, Pataeta, Ponteris, Primis-parva, Arabis, Napata, Sacole, 
Sandace, Orbadari, Primis-magna, and then the island forming the district of Mcroe, 
lying between the Nile which flows to the W. of it, and the Astaboras which is to 
the E., beyond which is Sacolche, Eser, Dororum (Adbpoov) Vicus, and then the junc- 
tion of the Nile and Astapus. But his adding "and then the junction of tho Astab- 
oras and the Astapus" tends to mislead ; and he probably meant " of the Astasobas 
and the Astapus."— [G. W.] 

Chap. 29. MEROE. 35 

a great lake, the shores of which are inhabited by Ethiopian 
nomads ; after passing it, you come again to the stream of the 
Nile, which runs into the lake. Here you land, and travel for 
forty days along the banks of the river, since it is impossible to 
proceed further in a boat on account of the sharp peaks which 
jut out from the water, and the sunken rocks which abound in 
that part of the stream. When you have passed this portion of 
the river in the space of forty days, you go on board another 
boat, and proceed by water for twelve days more, at the end of 
which time you reach a great city called Meroe, which is said 
to be the capital of the other Ethiopians. 8 The only gods wor- 

8 This is in contradistinction to the vo/maSes, which in this instance may have 
been merely a corruption of " Nobata?," since an agricultural people could not have 
been nomade. For though late writers pretend that the Nobatae were a Libyan 
people, introduced into the valley of the Nile under the Roman Empire, it is evident 
that the name was of early date and Ethiopian, having been taken from the ram- 
headed deity principally worshipped there, Noub, Noum, or Nou, who was the great 
god of Ethiopia from the most remote periods (see next note, and App. ch. iii. 
§ 2). Aldioty was evidently a corruption of the Egyptian name for southern Ethiopia 
or Nubia, "Ethaush" or " Ethosl!,' 1 the ps being substituted for sk, a sound the 
Greeks could neither write nor pronounce. The Greeks (like the Arabs) often 
adopted a word having some signification in their own language, if it resembled a 
foreign one, and the Greek derivation of Al&ioty is on a par with that of Isis, from 
e7<m, " knowledge " (Plut. de Is. s. 2), and many others. The isle of Meroe, formed 
by three rivers, as Strabo and Josephus state, was the peninsula contained between 
the main branch of the Nile on the west; the Astapus or the modern Abawee Nile, 
or Bahr-el-Azrek, with its tributary the Rahad (probably the Astasobas) on the 
south ; and the Astaboras, now the A'tbara, on the east; and according to Strabo 
(xvi. and xvii. pp. 1095, 1162) it had the form of an oblong shield, measuring 3000 
stadia (at least 341 miles) and 1000 stadia (about 113f miles) in breadth (see Plin. 
vi. 29). The city of Meroe stood near the modern Dankalah, remarkable for its 
numerous pyramids, 27 m. N.E. of the modern Shendy. Napata was also the capital 
of Ethiopia, and that too at a very remote period ; and Meroe was probably the seat 
of an independent kingdom. The appearance of the pyramids of Dankalah indeed 
show it to have been very ancient, and after the Egyptian kings of the 12th and 
18th dynasties had established themselves at Napata, Meroe became the sole capital 
of the Ethiopian kings ; and though Napata was the royal seat in the time of the 
Sabacos and Tirhaka, Meroe was still the metropolis of Southern Ethiopia, as it was 
in the days of Herodotus and of the Ptolemies ; but it had lost all its importance in 
the time of the Roman Empire. The pyramids of Noori doubtless belonged also to 
Napata, the neighbouring ones at Gebel Berkel (Napata) itself being of a rather 
more recent date ; and though the pyramids of Dankalah have so great an appear- 
ance of age, the tropical rains have had an effect on them to which those of Noori 
were not subject, and no ruins of temples exist at Meroe of an antiquity at all com- 
parable to that of the oldest ones at Gebel Berkel. The notion of Diodorus and 
Strabo that Meroe was built by Cambyses is too extravagant to be noticed. There 
are some curiously fortified lines on the hills about five or six miles below Gebel 
Berkel, commanding the approaches to that place, by the river and on the shore, 
apparently of Ethiopian time. I believe they have not been noticed ; and I was led 
to examine them by perceiving their stone walls upon the irregularly indented cliffs 
they cover. They extend about half-a-mile inland from the river, and from their 
following every projecting corner of the hills, the total number of feet of wall is 
nearly 10,000; but there are no vestiges of houses or other buildings within the area 
they enclose. — [G. W.] 

Meroe is frequently mentioned under the name of Miruhh in the Assyrian in 



Book II 

shipped by the inhabitants are Jupiter and Bacchus ; 9 to whom 
great honours are paid. There is an oracle of Jupiter in the 
city, which directs the warlike expeditions of the Ethiopians ; 
when it commands they go to war, 1 and in whatever direction 
it bids them march, thither straightway they carry their arms. 

9 Amun and Osiris answered to Jupiter and Bacchus; and both the Amun of 
Thebes and the ram-headed Nou (Noum, Noub, or Kneph) were worshipped in 
Ethiopia. But it is this last deity to whom Herodotus alludes ; for he says " the 
Egyptians callJupiter Amnion," and in later times the ram-headed god was also sup- 
posed to answer to Jupiter. This is shown by inscriptions at the Oasis and at Syene, 
where he was worshipped under the name of Jupiter-Ammon-Cenubis, in company 
with Sate (Juno) and Anouke (Vesta), who formed the triad of the cataracts. (See 
note a ch. 42.) Osiris, the god of the dead, was worshipped in Ethiopia, as through- 
out Egypt, the religious rites of that country having been borrowed from the 
Egyptians; but it cannot be said that these two were the only gods of Ethiopia. 
Strabo mentions the worship of Hercules, Pan, and Isis, as well as a barbaric god, 
at Meroe (xvii. 565); and in the tem- 
ples of that country, whether erect- 
ed by Ethiopians or by Egyptian 
monarchs who ruled there, many 
other gods shared in the worship 
paid to the principal deity of the 
sanctuary. Besides many of the 
usual Egyptian deities are some of 
uncommon form peculiar to Ethi- 
opia ; and at Wady Owatayb is one 
with three lion's heads and four 
arms, more like an Indian than an 
Egyptian god, though he wears a 
head-dress common to gods and 
Kings, especially in Ptolemaic and 
Roman times. He was perhaps the 
barbaric god mentioned by Strabo. 
The whole character of the temple 
is copied from Egypt, and the 
Amun of Thebes and the ram- 
headed Noum or Noub hold the 
most conspicuous places there. In- 
deed the ram-headed god was the 
chief deity throughout Ethiopia ; 
and though a lion-headed god is 
found at Amara, as well as at Wady 
Owatayb, there is no appearance 

of his having been of the same early age as Noum, and the king whose name 
occurs on both temples is of late time. It is to these two, Jupiter and Osiris, that 
Strabo alludes when he says "the Ethiopians acknowledge two gods, one immortal, 
the cause of all things, the other mortal, who lias no name," or more properly 
whose name was not uttered, the mysterious Osiris, who had lived on earth, and, 
dying, had become the judge of men in a future state, lie also mentions other 
inferior gods. — [G. \V.] 

1 The influence of the priests at Meroe, through the belief that they spoke the 
commands of the Deity, is more fully shown by Strabo and Diodorus, who siv it 
was their custom to send to the king, when it pleased them, and order him to put 
an end to himself, in obedience to the will of the oracle imparted to them; and to 
such a degree had they contrived to enslave the understanding of those princes by 
superstitious fears, that they were obeyed without opposition. At length a king, 
called Ergamenes, a contemporary of Ptolemy Philadelphia, dared to disobey their 
orders, and having entered " the golden chapel " with his soldiers, caused them to 

Chap. 30. THE DESERTERS. 37 

30. On leaving this city, and again mounting the stream, in 
the same space of time which it took you to reach the capital 
from Elephantine, you come to the Deserters, 2 who hear the 
name of Asmach. This word, translated into our language, 
means " the men who stand on the left hand of the king/' 3 

be put to death in his stead, and abolished the custom (Diod. iii. 6 ; Strabo, xvii. 
p. 1163). Ergamenes had "studied the philosophy of Greece," and had the sense 
to distinguish between priestly rule and religion, knowing that blind 
obedience to the priests did not signify obedience to the divine will ; |ggjj 
but these vested rights on man's credulity seem to have been afterwards 

revived among the Ethiopians, and the expedition sent by Mohammed 
Ali up the White Nile learnt that the same custom of ordering the king 
to die now exists among some of their barbarous descendants. The 
name of Ergamenes is found in the temple of Dakkeh, in Nubia. — 

[G.W.] _ _ _. _ M 

2 The descendants of the 240,000 deserters from Psammetichus lived, 
according to Herodotus, 4 months' journey above Elephantine (ch. 31), 
from which Meroe' stood half-way. He reckons (ch. 29) 56 days from 
Elephantine to Meroe, the double of which would be 112, instead of 120 
days ; and Meroe being half-way would require the country of the Au- 
tomoli to be in the modern Abyssinia. They were called 'Ao-^ax, in allusion to 
their original post on the " left," not of the king, but of the Egyptian army, the 
cause of their desertion (see following note). This word may be traced in the 
shcmal, " left," of the Arabic ; and Esar, a city mentioned by Pliny, 17 days from 
Meroe, where the Egyptian deserters lived 300 years, is remarkable from having 
the same signification in Arabic, yesdr being also "the left." Some have derived 
the name of Axum in Abyssinia from 'Aa/xax- According to Strabo (xvii. p. 541) 
they were called Sembrites, or Sebritae, meaning " strangers," which may either 
be compounded of the Egyptian shemtno, "stranger," and beri (or mberi), "new;" 
or be taken from the name of the country they inhabited, Saba ; for " Sembrites " 
is the same as " Sebrites," mb being often pronounced simply b. It is remarkable 
that Strabo places the country they inhabited, called Tenesis, inland from the port 
of Saba (xvii. p. 530). They lived in an island above that of Meroe, and in his time 
they were subject to one of the many queens who at various periods ruled Ethiopia: 
for there was a queen Candace in the time of Petronius ; and this title, rather than 
name, passed, according to Pliny (vi. 29) from one queen to another for many years. 
The monuments of Gebel Berkel, and other places, also show that queens frequently 
held the sceptre in Ethiopia; but the queen of Sheba in Solomon's time, claimed by 
the Abyssinians, was evidently not from that country, for Sheba was probably in the 
southern part of Arabia, and the Arabians, like the Ethiopians, were frequently 
governed by queens. (See note to Book iii. ch. 107). The name Saba may point 
out a connexion with the country where the lion-god was worshipped (saba mean- 
ing " lion ") ; and Josephus (Antiq. ii. 5) says that Saba was a name of Meroe. The 
withdrawal of the Egyptian troops to Ethiopia is readily accounted for by the in- 
tercourse that had so long subsisted between the two countries, the royal family of 
Ethiopia being often related by marriage to that of Egypt, which accounts for some 
princes of Cush having the title " royal son" in the Theban sculptures (though these 
are mostly Egyptian viceroys, and sons of Pharaohs); and the fact of the royal suc- 
cession having been maintained in the female line explains the reason of so many 
queens having ruled in Ethiopia. This too gave the Ethiopians a claim on the 
throne of Egypt when the direct line failed, and accounts for the Sabacos and 
others occasionally obtaining the crown of Egypt by right and not by conquest. 
-[G. W.] 

Diodorus says that the reason of the Egyptian troops deserting from Psamme- 
tichus was his having placed them in the left wing, while the right was given to the 
strangers in his army, which is not only more probable than the reason assigned by 
Herodotus, but is strongly confirmed by the discovery of an inscription at Aboosim- 


These Deserters are Egyptians of the warrior cast, who, to the 
number of two hundred and forty thousand, went over to the 
Ethiopians in the reign of king Psammetichus. The cause of 
their desertion was the following : — Three garrisons were main- 
tained in Egypt at that time/ one in the city of Elephantine 

bel in Nubia, written apparently by the Greeks who accompanied Psammetichus 
when in pursuit of the deserters. These Greeks were the Ionians and Carians taken 
into his pay, in order, as Herodotus was told (ch. 152), to aid in dethroning his 
colleagues, though in reality from the advantage of employing the Greeks against 
the increasing power of his Asiatic neighbours (see note 6 on ch. 152). The first 
Greeks known to the Egyptians being Ionians led to the name Ionian being after- 
wards used by them for all Greeks, as we find in the Rosetta stone, and other doc- 
uments. The Asiatics, for a similar reason, called the Greeks " Ionians,''' " the race 
ofJavan." Ionia in the Nakhshi-Rustam Inscription is " Yavana," or Yu n a, and 
the ancient Greeks are still known in Arabic as the " Yunani," or " Iunani." The 
inscription states that Psammetichus himself went as far as Elephantine, the Greeks 
being sent forward with some of his adherents into Ethiopia ; and the point where 
they had a parley with the deserters was apparently, from the inscription, near 
Kerkis, some distance above Aboosimbel, where on their return they left this record 
of their journey. It is also curious from its style ; and from the early indication of 
the long vowels H and Cl (the latter apparently an O with a dot in the centre), 
which — as well as other arguments — proves that they came gradually into use, and 
long before the time of Simonides, who was not born till 556 b. c. The reign of 
Psammetichus dates in the middle of the 7th century n. C. The inscription, ot which 
the following is a transcript, is thus translated by Colonel Leake : — " King Psam- 

^XiA£o/fA©OA/7o^>fAi?cpAA/7-//N/A N v|,AMAr/Xo 

ANiBA^Ao$o>oaxEroTA$/MToAir \rr/o$^mMs 


metichus having come to Elephantine, those who were with Psammetichus, the son 
of Theocles, wrote this. They sailed, and came to above Kerkis, to where the river 

rises (?) the Egyptian Amasis. The writer is Damearchon the son of 

Amoebichus, and Pelephus (?) the son of Udamus" (?). (This Ph looks rather like 
the old K or Q.) In the same place are several other inscriptions, some of the same 
style and time, and others written by Phoenicians in their language, the date of 
which is unknown. If this was the 3rd, instead of the 1st Psammetichus, "the 
Egyptian Amasis" may have been the general, afterwards king of Egypt ; for Her- 
odotus, who only mentions one Psammetichus, may have been wrong in supposing 
the desertion of the troops took place under the son of Neco. This would bring the 
date of the inscription within 600 n. c. (See note 8 on ch. 161, and hist, notice 
App. CH. viii. § 34.) There is a coin of Thrace of date about 550 B. c. which has 
the H (in Millingen), though many much later have not the long vowels. Coins and 
vases are no authorities against their use, as the archaic style was imitated to a late 
time. Some inscriptions, as that of Potidca in the British Museum, as late as 4o'j, 
have no H nor Cl. The E is XS, and the ¥ is *2; and it has been supposed that 
there was no CI in public documents till the archonship of Euclid, B. c. 403. But the 
long vowels were used earlier by the Greeks of Asia Minor. The Cl and 2 were 
changed to a> and C in the age of the later Ptolemies, and were re-introduced in 
the reign of Adrian. — [G. "W.J 

4 It was always the custom of the Egyptians to have a garrison stationed, a* 



against the Ethiopians, another in the Pelusiac Daphnse, 5 against 
the Syrians and Arabians, and a third, against the Libyans, in 
Marea. (The very same posts are to this day occupied by the 
Persians, whose forces are in garrison both in Daphnge and in 
Elephantine.) Now it happened, that on one occasion the gar- 
risons were not relieved during the space of three years ; the 
soldiers, therefore, at the end of that time, consulted together, 
and having determined by common consent to revolt, marched 
away towards Ethiopia. Psammetichus, informed of the move- 
ment, set out in pursuit, and coming up with them, besought 
them with many words not to desert the gods of their country, 
nor abandon their wives and children. " Nay, but," said one 
of the deserters with an unseemly gesture, " wherever we go, we 
are sure enough of finding wives and children." Arrived in 
Ethiopia, they placed themselves at the disposal of the king. 
In return, he made them a present of a tract of land which be- 
longed to certain Ethiopians with whom he was at feud, bidding 
them expel the inhabitants and take possession of their territory. 
From the time that this settlement was formed, their acquaint- 
ance with Egyptian manners has tended to civilise the Ethi- 
opians. 6 

31. Thus the course of the Nile is known, not only through- 
out Egypt, but to the extent of four months' journey either by 
land or water above the Egyptian boundary ; for on calculation 
it will be found that it takes that length of time to travel from 
Elephantine to the country of the Deserters. There the direc- 

Herodotus states, on the frontier, at Elephantine, at Daphnae of Pelusium, and at 
Marea; but in the time of the victorious kings of the 18th dynasty others were 
stationed at Semneh, above the second cataract, and also farther south in Upper 
Ethiopia, as well as in various parts of Asia where they had extended their con- 
quests, which last were only finally taken from them in the time of Neco II., the 
son and successor of this Psammetichus. — [G. W.] 

5 Daphnae, Daphne, or Daphnes was 16 Roman miles from Pelusium, according 
to the Itinerary of Antoninus. It was the Tahpanhes of Scripture. See Jer. xliii. 
8; Ezek. xxx/l8.— [G. W.] 

6 This would be a strong argument, if required, against the notion of civilisation 
having come from the Ethiopians to Egypt ; but the monuments prove beyond all 
question that the Ethiopians borrowed from Egypt their religion and their habits of 
civilisation. They even adopted the Egyptian as the language of religion and of 
the court, which it continued to be till the power of the Pharaohs had fallen, and 
their dominion was again confined to the frontier of Ethiopia. It was through 
Egypt too that Christianity passed into Ethiopia, even in the age of the Apostles 
(Acts viii. 27), as is shown by the eunuch of queen Candace (see note 2 on this 
chapter). Other proofs of their early conversion are also found, as in the inscrip- 
tions at Farras, above Aboosimbel, one of which has the date of Diocletian, though 
the Nobatoe are said not to have become Christians till the reign of Justinian. The 
erroneous notion of Egypt having borrowed from Ethiopia may perhaps have been 
derived from the return of the Egyptian court to Egypt after it had retired to Ethi- 
opia on the invasion of the Shepherds. — [G. W.] 


tion of the river is from west to east. 7 Beyond, no one has any 
certain knowledge of its course, since the country is uninhabited 
by reason of the excessive heat. 

32. I did hear, indeed, what I will now relate, from certain 
natives of Gyrene. Once upon a time, they said, they were on 
a visit to the oracular shrine of Amnion, 8 when it chanced that 
in the course of conversation with Etearchus, the Ammonian 
king, the talk fell upon the Nile, how that its source?, were un- 
known to all men. Etearchus upon this mentioned that some 
Nasamonians 9 had once come to his court, and when asked if 
they could give any information concerning the uninhabited parts 
of Libya, had told the following tale. (The Nasamonians are a 
Libyan race who occupy the Syrtis, and a tract of no great size 
towards the east. 1 ) They said there had grown up among them 
some wild young men, the sons of certain chiefs, who, when they 
came to man's estate, indulged in all manner of extravagancies, 
and among other things drew lots for five of their number to go 

7 This only applies to the white river, or western branch of the Nile. — [G. W.] 

8 This was in the modern Oasis of See-wah (Siwah), where remains of the temple 
are still seen. The oracle long continued in great repute, and though in Strabo's time 
it began to lose its importance (the mode of divination learnt from Etruria having 
superseded the consultation of the distant Amnion), still its answers were sought in 
the solution of difficult questions in the days of Juvenal, "after the cessation of the 
Delphic oracle." In consulting the god at the Oasis of Amnion, it was customary, 
says Quintus Curtius, "for the priests to carry the figure of the god in a gilded 
boat, ornamented with numerous silver paterae hanging from it on both sides, behind 
which followed a train of matrons and virgins singing a certain uncouth hymn, in 
the manner of the country, with a view to propitiate the deity, and induce him to 
return a satisfactory answer." See the boat or ark of Xou (Nef) in the temple of 
Elephantine in PI. 56, 57 of Dr. Young and the Egyptian Society. Of the appear- 
ance of the god he says, " id quod pro Deo colitur, non eandem effigiem habet, 
quam vulgo Diis artifices ac^ommodaverunt, umbriculo maxime similis est habitus, 
smaragdis et gemmis coagmentatus :" but the word umbriculo has perplexed all com- 

All the cultivable spots, abounding with springs, in that desert, are called Wah ; 
the chief of which are the See-wah, the Little Oasis, the Wah surnamed e' Dakhleh, 
i. e., " the inner," or western, and the Wall el Khargeh, " the outer Oasis," to the 
east of it, which is the great Oasis. The others, of El Hayz, Farafreh, and the Oases 
of the Dlacks, in the interior, to the westward, are small, and some of them only 
temporarily inhabited ; but those above mentioned are productive, and abound in 
palms, fruit-trees, rice, barley, and various productions. They are not, as often 
supposed, cultivated spots in the midst of an endless level tract of sand, but abrupt 
depressions in the high table-land, portions of which are irrigated by running 
streams, and, being surrounded by cliffs more or less precipitous, are in appearance 
not unlike a portion of the valley of the Nile, with its palm-trees, villages, and gar- 
dens, transported to the desert, without its river, and bordered by a sandy plain 
reaching to the hills that surround it, in which stunted tamarisk bushes, coarse 
grasses, and desert plants struggle to keep themselves above the drifted sand that 
collects around them. — [G. W.] 

9 This word seems to be " JVahsi Amun" or "Negroes of Ammonitis," or Nor- 
thern Libya; Nahsi being the Egvptian name for the Negroes of Africa. See my 
note on ch. 182, Book iv.— [G. W.] 

1 Vide infra, iv. 172-3. 




, ° 


and explore the desert parts of Libya, and try if they could not 
penetrate further than any had clone previously. (The coast of 
Libya along the sea which washes it to the north, throughout 
its entire length from Egypt to Cape Soloeis, 2 which is its fur- 
thest point, is inhabited by Libyans of many distinct tribes, who 
possess the whole tract except certain portions which belong to 
the Phoenicians and the Greeks. 3 Above the coast-line and 
the country inhabited by the maritime tribes, Libya is full of 
wild beasts ; while beyond the wild beast region there is a tract 

2 This is supposed by Rennell to be Cape Cantin, near Mogador, on the W. coast 
of Africa; but, with great deference to so high an authority, I am inclined to think 
it Cape Spartel, near Tangier, as the Persian Sataspes, condemned by Xerxes to 
undertake the voyage round Africa, is said, after sailing through the Straits of 
Gibraltar (Pillars of Hercules) and doubling the Libyan promontory called Soloeis, 
to have steered southwards, for here the southerly course evidently begins (see 
Book iv. ch. 42). Herodotus, too, measures the breadth of Libya from Egypt to the 
extreme end of the northern coast, not to the most westerly headland to the south 
of it, which too he is not likely to have known ; and Aristotle (De Mundo, 3) shows 
the Greeks measured the extent of Africa E. and W., only along the northern coast, 
by saying "it extends to the Pillars of Hercules." — [G. W.] 

3 That is, the Cyrenaica, and the possessions of the Phoenicians and Carthagin- 
ians, or more properly the Pceni, on the X. and W. coasts. Poeni, Punici, and 
Phcenices were the same name of the race, oi, or a?, or u having the same sound in 
Greek. Carthaginian signified properly the people of Carthage, as Tvrians did the 
"Phoenicians of Tyre;" for the Phoenicians called themselves from the name of 
their towns, Tyrians, Sidonians, &c. Cartha, the "city," was iirst applied to Tyre, 
from which Hercules obtained the title of Mclcarthus, or Melek-Kartha, " Lord of 
the City," corrupted into Melicertes or Melicartus, "who," Sanconiatho says, "was 
Hercules," and who in a Phoenician inscription at Malta is called Adonin Melkarth 
Baal Tzura, &nx JjJS mp^JS "p^K, " our Lord Melkarth, Baal of Tyre." 

Carthagena (Carthagina, Carthage) was Kartha Yena, the "new city" (/caii/77 
7roAis), in opposition to the parent Tyre, or to Utica, i. e. Atika, the "old" (city), 
which was founded before by the Phoenicians on the African coast about b.c. 1520, 
or, according to Velleiua Paterculus (i. 2), at the same time as Megara, B. c. 1131. 
Utica was probably not so called till after the building of Carthage (aa Musr-el- 
Atika received that name after the foundation of the new Must, or Cairo). The 
"new town," Carthagena, was the "nova Carthago" of Dido (Ovid, Ep. Dido to 
JEn. ; Virg. iEn. i. 366) ; but it was founded b. c. 1259, long before Dido's Buppoeed 
time. Some think it was built more than two centuries after (Jades and Tartessus 
in Spain, and Velleiua Paterculus says Grades was a lew years older than Utica. He 
dates the building of Carthage by Elissa, or Dido, 60 years before Rome, or 813 
B. c. (i. 6); but his authority is of no weight. (Cp. Justin, xviii. 5.) Cartha is the 
same as Kiriath, common in Hebrew names. Some object to the above derivation 
of Cartha-jena, because jena or yena, "new," is not a Semitic, bul a Turk or Tartar 
word, and is properly yevgi or yeki ; and they prefer the Greek Carchedo as the 
name of the city, deriving it from Caer or Car, and hedo, "new."' But whether 
jena is admissible or no, Cartha is the word used, as in Melkarth, or Melek Kartha, 
"Lord of the City," applied to Hercules in Phoenician inscriptions, and found in 
Carteia and Kiriath. The resemblance of the name of its citadel Byrsa (said to 
have been called from the hide) to those of Borsippa, or Birs-Nimroud, and the 
Arab Boursa, near Babylon, is singular. 

A record seems still to be preserved of the Phoenician trade on the western 
coast of Africa in the peculiar glass-beads found there, which are known to be an- 
cient, and are now highly prized. The Venetians send out a modern imperfect im- 
itation of them to Africa. They are also said to have been found in Cornwall and 
in Ireland.— [G. W.] 

Chap. 32, 33. THE DESERT. 43 

which is wholly sand, very scant of water, and utterly and en- 
tirely a desert. 4 ) The young men therefore, despatched on this 
errand by their comrades with a plentiful supply of water and 
provisions, travelled at first through the inhabited region, pass- 
ing which they came to the wild beast tract, whence they 
finally entered upon the desert, which they proceeded to cross 
in a direction from east to west. After journeying for many 
days over a wide extent of sand, they came at last to a plain 
where they observed trees growing ; approaching them, and 
seeing fruit on them, they proceeded to gather it. While they 
were thus engaged, there came upon them some dwarfish men, 5 
under the middle height, who seized them and carried them off. 
The Nasamonians could not understand a word of their language, 
nor had they any acquaintance with the language of the Nasa- 
monians. They were led across extensive marshes, and finally 
came to a town, where all the men were of the height of their 
conductors, and black-complexioned; A great river flowed by 
the town, 6 running from west to east, and containing crocodiles. 
33. Here let me dismiss Etearchus 7 the Ammonian, and his 
story, only adding that (according to the Cyrenseans) he de- 
clared that the Nasamonians got safe back to their country, and 
that the men whose city they had reached were a nation of sor- 
cerers. With respect to the river which ran by their town, 
Etearchus conjectured it to be the Nile ; 8 and reason favours 

4 Vide infra, iv. 181, for the division of Africa into three regions ; and for the 
true character of the desert, see note on iv. 185. 

5 Men of diminutive size really exist in Africa, but the Nasamones probably 
only knew of some by report. Those to the S.W. of Abyssinia are called Dokos. 
They are not Negroes. (See Ethnological Journal, No. 1, p. 43, and No. 2.) Some 
have thought the Simia Sylvanus of Africa gave rise to the story, agreeing as it 
does with their description by Photius (Cod. iii. Bibl. p. 8) : " virb 5e Tpi^wv Se5a- 
avfxevovs 8m wavrbs rov crw^aToy." The pygmies are mentioned by Homer (II. iii. 6) 
and others, and often represented on Greek vases. Homer and Aristotle (Hist. An. 
viii. 12) place them near the sources of the Nile, which might agree with the Dokos. 
Pliny (vi. 19), Philostratus (Vit. Apoll. Ty. iii. 47), and others, place them in India 
(see Ctesias Ind. § 11). Strabo (i. p. 50) says the fable was invented by Homer, 
who represented them living by the sources of the Nile, whither the cranes retiring 
from the winter and snows of the north brought slaughter and death on the Pygmaean 
race. He thinks that certain little men of Ethiopia were the origin of the fable 
(xvii. p. 1162), as Aristotle does (H. An. viii. 12), who calls themTroglodytre. Pomp. 
Mela (iii. 8) places them very far south, and speaks of their fighting with the cranes, 
" pro satis frugibus." (Cp. Strabo i. p. 53; xvii. p. 1162.) ^Elian (Hist. An. xv. 29) 
has a fable of Juno turning their queen " Gerana " into a crane. — [G. W.] 

6 It seems not improbable that we have here a mention of the river Niger, 
and of the ancient representative of the modern city of Thnbuctoo. See Blakesley 
ad loc. 

7 If Etearchus was not a corruption of a native name, he must have been a 
Greek, probably from that Oasis having been conquered by the Cyrenoeans. — > 

8 This large river, which traversed the centre of Africa, and abounded in croc- 


that view. For the Nile certainly flows out of Libya, dividing 
it down the middle, and as I conceive, judging the unknown 
from the known, rises at the same distance from its mouth as 
the Ister. 9 This latter river has its source in the country of 
the Celts near the city Pyrene, and runs through the middle of 
Europe, dividing it into two portions. The Celts live beyond 
the pillars of Hercules, and border on the Cynesians, 1 who dwell 
at the extreme west of Europe. Thus the Ister flows through 
the whole of Europe before it finally empties itself into the Eux- 
ine at Istria,' 2 one of the colonies of the Milesians. 3 

odiles (ch. 22), probably represented more than one of the rivers which run to the 
Atlantic from Central Africa ; and the marsh or lake it traversed was in like manner 
not confined to the Tchad, or any particular one of those regions. One of Strabo's 
lakes, from which the Nile comes in the East (xvii. p. 1116), as well as his large 
lake Pseboa, above Meroe, was evidently the modern Dembea of Abyssinia, the 
Coloe Palus of Ptolemy's Astapus, through which the Blue (or Black) Nile runs. 
See Plin. viii. 21, "Lake Nigris," and v. 9; and compare Strabo, xvii. p. 1162. — 
[G. W.] 

9 The meaning of this passage has been much disputed, but Schweighamser's 
final decision upon it (Lex. Herod, ad voc. jxtTpov), which is here followed, may be 
accepted as fairly satisfactory. Herodotus does not intend any such exact corre- 
spondency between the Nile and the Danube as Larcher (note ad loc. ), much less 
such as Niebuhr (Scythia, p. 40, Engl. Trans.) and Dahlrnann (Life, p. 65) imagined. 
He is only speaking of the comparative length of the two streams, and conjectures 
that they are equal in this respect. Herein no doubt he exhibits his over-love of 
symmetry (see note to Bookiv. ch. 181); but it is quite unnecessary to suppose, with 
Niebuhr, that he considered the two streams to correspond in all points, and because 
the Nile made an angle in its course above the country of the Deserters (ch. 31), re- 
garded the Danube as making a similar angle in the upper parts of Thrace. There 
is absolutely no indication of his having entertained any such notion. His placing 
the sources of the Danube in the country of the Celts, near the city Pyrene, implies 
no doubt a considerable error as to the region from which that river flows, but it is 
interesting as exhibiting a dim acquaintance with the name and position of the 
Pyrenean range, of which not only Hecataeus, but even Scylax (Peripl. pp. 3-4), 
seems to have been ignorant ; and which is (I believe) first mentioned by Polybius 
(in. xxxix. § 4, &c). 

1 The Cynesians are mentioned again in iv. 49 as Cynetes. They are a nation 
of whom nothing is known but their abode from very ancient times at the extreme 
S.W. of Europe. Herodorus of Heraclea, a contemporary of Socrates, who appears 
to have possessed a fair knowledge of the Spanish peninsula, spoke of them ( Fr. 2o) 
as dwelling the furthest to the W. of all the Spanish nations, and said they were 
bordered upon towards the N. by the Gletes. (r\r)Tes, query ? TaAarat, Celts.) By 
the later geographers (Strabo, Pliny, Ptolemy) they are ignored altogether, yet cu- 
riously enough they re-appear in Avienus, a writer of the fifth century after Christ, 
nearly in their old settlements, on the banks of the Anas or Guadiana. (Ora Mar- 
itim. 202-223). 

2 If the Danube in the time of Herodotus entered the Euxine at Istria, it must 
have changed its course very greatly since he wrote. Istria, Ister, or Istriopolis 
(as we find it variously called) was situated near the modern Kostc?idjc, 60 miles 
below the most southerly of the Danube's present mouths. The name undoubtedly 
remains in the modern Wisteri, on the road from Koste?idje to Babadagh, but the 
ancient town must have been nearer the coast — perhaps at Karaglak. (See St rub, 
vii. p. 161-2; Anon. Peripl. Pont. Eux. p. 157; Ptolem. iii. 10; Itin. Ant, p. U, 
&c). It is perhaps conceivable that the Danube may once have thrown out a 
branch from the angle in its course near Rassova to the Black Sea near Kostendje, 
in the line of the projected ship-canal ; but if so, great alterations in the height of 

Chap. 34, 35. WONDERS OF EGYPT. 45 

34. Now as this river flows through regions that are inhabit- 
ed, its course is perfectly well known ; but of the sources of the 
Nile no one can give any account, since Libya, the country 
through which it passes, is desert and without inhabitants. As 
far as it was possible to get information by inquiry, I have given 
a description of the stream. It enters Egypt from the parts 
beyond. Egypt lies almost exactly opposite the mountainous 
portion of Cilicia, 4 whence a lightly-equipped traveller may reach 
Sinope on the Euxine in five days by the direct route. 5 Sinope 
lies opposite the place where the Ister falls into the sea. 6 My 
opinion therefore is that the Nile, as it traverses the whole of 
Libya, is of equal length with the Ister. And here I take my 
leave of this subject. 

35. Concerning Egypt itself I shall extend my remarks to 
a great length, because there is no country that possesses so 
many wonders, 7 nor any that has such a number of works which 

the land must have taken place within the historic period, since at present the Black 
Sea is separated from the valley of the Danube by a range of hills, whose elevation 
is at the lowest point 200 or 300 feet. 

3 According to Scymnus Chius (Fr. 21) Istria was founded about the time of 
the Scythian invasion of Asia (b. c. 633). Pliny calls it a most beautiful city (" urbs 
pulcherrima," H. N. iv. 11). 

4 Cilicia was divided into two portions, the eastern, or " Cilicia campestris," and 
the western, or "Cilicia aspera." (Strab. xiv. p. 954.) Egypt does not really lie 
" opposite " — that is, in the same longitude with — the latter region. It rather faces 
Pamphylia, but Herodotus gives all Africa, as far as the Lesser Syrtis, too easterly 
a position. (Vide infra, iv. 179, note.) 

5 Supra, i. 72, sub fin. 

6 This of course is neither true, nor near the truth ; and it is difficult to make 
out in what sense Herodotus meant to assert it. Perhaps he attached no very dis- 
tinct geographical meaning to the word " opposite." 

7 By this statement Herodotus prepares his readers for what he is about to re- 
late ; but the desire to tell of the wonders in which it differed from all other coun- 
tries led Herodotus to indulge in his love of antithesis, so that in some cases he con- 
fines to one sex what was done by both (a singular instance being noted down by 
him as an invariable custom), and in others he has indulged in the marvellous at a 
sacrifice of truth. If, however, Herodotus had told us that the Egyptian women 
enjoyed greater liberty, confidence, and consideration than under the hareem system 
of the Greeks and Persians (Book i. ch. 136), he would have been fully justified, for 
the treatment of women in Egypt was far better than in Greece. The assertion of 
Nymphodorus that Sesostris, fearing the people, who had become very numerous,might 
revolt against him, obliged the men to adopt the occupations of women (in order to 
enervate the whole race during his reign), is too ridiculous to be worth contradict- 
ing. In many cases where Herodotus tells improbable tales, they are on the author- 
ity of others, or mere hearsay reports, for which he at once declares himself not 
responsible, and he justly pleads that his history was not only a relation of facts, 
but the result of an " IffTopia" or " inquiry," in which all he heard was inserted. 
We must, however, sometimes regret that he did not use his own judgment, and 
discard what must have shown itself unworthy of credit and of mention. For we 
gladly allow that when he does offer his own reflections they are sound; and too 
much credit cannot be given him for being so far above prejudice, and superior to 
many of the Greeks, who were too apt to claim the honour of originating things they 
borrowed from others, or to derive from Greece what was of older date than them- 



Book II. 

defy description. Not only is the climate different from that of 
the rest of the world, and the rivers unlike any other rivers, but 
the people also, in most of their manners and customs, exactly 
reverse the common practice of mankind. The women attend 
the markets 8 and trade, while the men sit at home at the loom ;' 
and here, while the rest of the world works the woof up the 
warp, 2 the Egyptians work it down ; the women likewise carry 

selves ; as, for instance, Thoth (Mercury) having gone from Arcadia " to Egypt, and 
given laws and learning to the Egyptians " (Cic. Nat. Deor. iii.) ; and Actinus, the 
son of Sol, being an astronomer who went from Greece to Egypt, where he founded 
the city of Heliopolis. Herodotus also shows more fairness and judgment than those 
who claim for the Greeks many inventions and ideas evidently borrowed from the 
country they visited for instruction, and who forget to attribute to the Greeks 
some of their great merits : — as the emancipation of the human mind from the 
trammels of fixed and unvarying rules, which cramped genius and prevented im- 
provement; the invention of real history; the establishment of taste in arts and 
literature; and that development of the mind for which modern nations are so much 
beholden to them. In art too Greece was unrivalled, and was indebted for it to her 
own genius ; nor from the occasional adoption of some hints in architecture and or- 
namental designs, as well as certain branches of knowledge, at an early period, can 
the origin of Greek taste be ascribed to Egypt or any other country. — [G. W.] 

B The market-place was originally outside the walls, generally in an open space, 
beneath what was afterwards the citadel or the acropolis; as we see in the old sites 
of Greek and also Roman towns, as at Rome itself, whence perhaps called Forum. 
The same is still the case in some countries at the present day, as at Cattaro in 

This first antithesis is an instance of Herodotus confining to one sex what applies 
to both ; and the sculptures show that sedentary occupations were more followed by 
women than by men. — [G. W.] 

1 This is one of the 
passages in our author, 
where his words so 
closely resemble those 
of Sophocles, as to raise 
suspicion of plagiarism 
on the one side or the 
other. (See note 3 B. i. 
ch. 32 ; and vide infra, 
iii. llfl.) The ancients 
generally seem to have 
believed the charge of 
effeminacy brought by 
Herodotus against the 
Egyptians. Various 

writers repeat it, and 
one (Nymphodorus) de- 
clares its origin. (See 
the Scholiast on Soph, gi 
(Ed. Col. 337 ; and com- 
pare the advice said to 
have been given by 
Croesus to Cyrus, supra, 
i. 155.) 

3 The foregoing remark, that a general conclusion is drawn from particular and rare 
cases, applies also to this, as the Egyptians sometimes pushed the woof upwards, 
sometimes down; and also to their mode of carrying burthens, for men almost always 

Chap. 35. 



burthens upon their shoulders, while the men carry them upon 
their heads. They eat their food out of doors in the streets, 3 

carried them on their shouldei-s, or on a yoke, like that now in use in Europe (see 
woodcut fig. 4 in note J on ch. 136), and rarely on their heads, except bakers, as 
in other countries ; while very few instances occur of a woman bearing a burthen 
on her shoulders. — [G. W.] 

3 That they sometimes ate in the street is not to be doubted ; but this was only 
the poorer class, as in other parts of ancient and modern Europe, and could not be 
mentioned in contradistinction to a Greek custom. The Egyptians generally dined 
at a small round table, having one leg (similar to the monopodium or orbis), at 
which one or more persons sat, and they ate with their fingers like the Greeks and 
the modern Arabs. Several dishes were placed upon the table, and before eating it 
was their custom to say grace. (Joseph. Antiq. xii. 2. 12 ; see At. Eg. W. vol. ii. 
p. 392 to 415.) Athenasus (Deipn. iv. p. 150) speaks of the sumptuousness of an 
Egyptian feast, and says they had one kind of dinner or supper " at which there 
was no table, the dishes being brought round." — [G. W.] 

4 Though men held the priesthood in Egypt, as in other countries, women were 
not excluded from certain important duties in the temples, as Herodotus also 
shows (chs. 54, 56) ; the queens made 

offerings with the kings ; and the mon- 
uments, as well as Diodorus, show that 
an order of women, chosen from the 
principal families, were employed in 
the service of the gods. It is of 
these that Diodorus, and even Hero- 
dotus (i. 182), have told stories, the 
absurdity of which is sufficiently ev- 
ident when we consider that queens 
and women of the highest rank held 
the office in the temple of Amun ; and 
it is probable that these were mem- 
bers of a sacred college, into which 
they entered on the death of their 
husbands, in order to devote them- 
selves to religious duties. It was per- 
haps then that they received the title 
of "divine wife," or "god's wife;" 
which from the following formula — 
"the royal daughter, the royal wife, 
the divine (god's) wife, the god's 
mother," would refer to her relation- 
ship to a king; as no office could 
make any one the mother of Amun. 

No. I. 



Book II. 

but retire for private purposes to their houses, giving as a reason 
that what is unseemly, but necessary, ought to be done in secret, 
but what has nothing unseemly about it, should be done openly. 
A woman cannot serve the priestly office, 4 either for god or god- 

Tbe widow of Ames, however, seems to be called " Goddess wife of Amun ; " which 
would show them to be spouses of the deity. They were also styled " god's hand," 
and "god's (the divine) star." Their chief office in the religious ceremonies was 
to sing the praises of the deity, playing on various instruments ; in the temple the 
highest of their order, as queens and princesses, held the sistra; and at Thebes they 
were called the minstrels and chiefs of the women of Amun. (On the Pallacides, 
see At. Eg. W. vol. iv. p. 203.) A sort of monastic institution seems to have ori- 




dess, but men are priests to both ; sons need not support their 
parents unless they choose, but daughters must, whether they 
choose or no. 5 

36. In other countries the priests have long hair, in Egypt 
their heads are shaven ; 6 elsewhere it is customary, in mourning, 
for near relations to cut their hair close ; the Egyptians, who 
wear no hair at any other time, when they lose a relative, let 

ginated in Egypt at an early time, and to have been imitated afterwards when the 
real conventual system was set on foot by the Christians in the same country. Cp. 
the Vestal virgins at Rome. (See woodcut No. II. opp. page.) 

Herodotus (ii. 54) speaks of two women, belonging to the Temple of Jupiter at 
Thebes, who founded the oracles of Ammon and Dodona ; and priestesses are men- 
tioned on the Rosetta stone, and in the papyrus of D'Anastasy. (See At. Eg. W. 
vol. i. p. 261.) Nor can this be ascribed to innovations, among a people so jealous 
as the Egyptians of the interference of foreigners in their religion. It must, how- 
ever, be observed that no woman, except the queen, attended in the grand proces- 
sions of a king's coronation, or on similar occasions ; and there is no ceremony in 
which women took the part they did at the Panathenaic festival of Athens. The 
monuments, however, show they did attend in processions in honour of Athor, as 
well as of Bubastis (infra, ch. 60) ; and in the funeral pageants women performed a 
great part, being the mourners for the dead, independently of those hired, as at 
the present day. Two, indeed, held an important office on that occasion. (Wood- 
cut No. III. figs. 1, 2.) 

There was also a ceremony performed by a woman and a man, each holding the 
end of a rope tied in a knot round a wooden pillar, the pointed end of .which they 
struck against the ground ; and this appears also to have been of a religious charac- 
ter connected with the dead. (No. IV.) Women were not therefore excluded from 
the service of religion; and the fact of queens holding the sceptre suffices to prove 
it, every monarch being privileged, and obliged, to become a member of the hierar- 
chy, and to be initiated in the mysteries. Diodorus also describes Athyrtis, the 
daughter of Sesostris, so well versed in divination that she foretold to her father the 
future success of his arms. — [G. W.] 

5 Of the daughters being forced to 
support their parents instead of the sons, 
it is difficult to decide ; but the improba- 
bility of the custom is glaring ; and it is the 
son on whom the duty fell of providing 
for the services in honour of his deceased 
parent ; and the law of debt mentioned by 
Herodotus (in ch. 136) contradicts his as- 
sertion here. — [G. W.] 

6 The custom of shaving the head as 
well as beard was not confined to the priests 
in Egypt, it was general among all classes ; 
and all the men wore wigs or caps fitting 
close to their heads, except some of the 
poorest class. In this the Egyptians were 
unlike the " KuprjKOfxoccvTas 'Ax aiovs: " but 
the custom of allowing the hair to grow in 
mourning was not confined to Egypt ; and 
Plutarch (Op. Mor. p. 267) says that in 
misfortune the Greek women cut off their hair, and the men let it grow, contrary 
to their ordinary custom. He probably means long and negligently ; for in most 
states the Greeks wore their hair moderately long ; young men and athletes short. 
Beards began first to be shaved in Greece in the time of Alexander. (Plut. Lysand. 
1.) The habit of making a baldness between the eyes for the dead (Deut. xiv. 1), 
which was forbidden by the Mosaic law, was not Egyptian, but Syrian. — [G. W.] 

Vol. II.— 4 

No. IV. 



Book II. 

their beards and the hair of their heads grow long. All other 
men pass their lives separate from animals, the Egyptians have 
animals always living with them ; 7 others make barley and 
wheat their food, it is a disgrace to do so in Egypt, s where the 
grain they live on is spelt, which some call zea. Dough they 
knead with their feet, 9 but they mix mud, and even take up 
dirt, with their hands. They are the only people in the world — 

7 Their living with animals not only contradicts a previous assertion of their 
eating in the streets, but is contrary to fact ; and if Herodotus really associated 
with any who were so badly lodged, he must have kept very bad company during 
his stay in Egypt. — [G. W.] 

8 Their considering it a "disgrace" to live on wheat and barley is equally extrav- 
agant; and though they also cultivated the holcus sorghum (or doora), and poor 
people may have used it, as at the present day, when they could not afford wheaten 
bread, it does not follow that the custom was obligatory, or ever adopted by an 
Egyptian of rank, and the assertion of Herodotus is much on a par with Dr. John- 
son's definition of "oats." 

It is not known what the olyra really was ; Pliny shows it was not rice, nor the 
same as zea, as Herodotus supposed, and it was probably the doora of modern Egypt, 
which is the only grain besides wheat and barley represented in the sculptures 
(though this has been thought to be "flax"). (See At. Eg. W. vol. ii. p. 397. ) 

Pliny (xviii. V) says, " far in iEgypto ex olyra conficitur," but not of course to the 
exclusion of other grain, as he notices wheat and barley there, and adds (xviii. 8), 
" .^Egyptus similaginem conficit e tritico suo." Both wheat and barley are noticed 
in Lower Egypt long before Herodotus' time (Exod. ix. 31, 32), and the paintings 
of the Thebaid prove that thev were 

grown extensively in that part of the 
country ; they were among the offer 
ings in the temples ; and the kin< 
his coronation, cutting some ears of 
wheat afterwards offered to the gods 
as the staple production of Egypt, No. I. 

shows how great a value was set on a 

grain which Herodotus would lead us to suppose was held in abhorrence. It is re- 
markable that though oats are unknown in Egypt, the wild oat grows there. — 
[G. W.] 

a That they trod the dough with their feet is true, fashioning it afterwards with 
the hand into cakes; but the mud was also mixed with the feet, after having 
been broken up with the hoe, as we see in the representation of the brickmakers at 




they at least, and such as have learnt the practice from them 1 
— who use circumcision. Their men wear two garments apiece, 
their women but one. 2 They put on the rings and fasten the 
ropes to sails inside, 3 others put them outside. When they 
write 1 or calculate, 5 instead of going, like the Greeks, from left 
to right, they move their hand from right to left ; and they in- 
sist, notwithstanding, that it is they who go to the right, and 

Thebes. See woodcut, figs. 11, 13, in note 
1 on ch. 136.— [G. W.] 

1 Vide infra, ch. 104. 

2 The men having two dresses and the 
women one gives an erroneous impression. 
The usual dress of men was a long upper 
robe and a short kilt beneath it, the for- 
mer being laid aside when at work ; while 
women had only the long robe. When an 
extra upper garment was worn over these 
the men had three, the women two ; so 
that, instead of limiting the latter to one, 
he should have given to men always one 
more garment than the women. See wood- 
cuts in notes on chs. 35, 37, and 81. — 
[G. W.] 

3 The Greek k<x\oi generally corres- 
ponded to our " stays" of the mast, virepat 
to "braces," 7ro'5esto "sheets," and nepou- 
Xoi to " halliards ; " but Herodotus only 
speaks of "the ropes and rings of the 

sails ;" and the ancient custom of fastening the braces and sheets of the sails to rings 
within the gunwale fully agrees with that still adopted in the Nile boats. — See notes 
\ 2 , ch. 96.— [G. W.] 

4 The Egyptians wrote from right to left in hieratic and demotic (or enchorial), 
which are the two modes of writing here mentioned. The Greeks also in old times 
wrote from right to left, like the Phoenicians, from whom they borrowed their alpha- 
bet. This seems the natural mode of writing ; for though we have always been ac- 
customed to write from left to right, we invariably use our pencil, in shading a draw- 
ing, from right to left, in spite of all our previous habit ; and even our down-strokes 
in writing are all from right to left. The Arabs say "it is more reasonable to see 
where the pen is coming, than not to see where it is going." It was continued by 
the Etruscans, the early imitators of the Greeks, to a very late period. Dr. Brugsch 
very ingeniously observes (Gram. Demot. pp. 15, 16), that though in Demotic the 
general direction of the writing was from right to left, each individual letter was 
formed from left to right, as is evident in the unfinished ends of horizontal letters 
when the ink failed in the pen. — [G. W.] 

6 In writing numbers in Hieratic and Enchorial they placed the 
units to the left, that is last, according to their mode of writing from 
right to left. Thus 1851 would stand 1581. In 18 they would first 
come to the ten, and in 13,432 they would begin with the thousands. 
The same mode of beginning with the largest number is followed in 
hieroglyphics, whether written from right to left, or from 
left to right. This is like our arrangement of the thousand 
first and the unit last, in our writing from left to right. 
The Arabs, from whom we borrowed this, think we ought 
to have changed the arrangement, as we write in an op- 
posite direction. But they borrowed their numerals from 
India (hence called by them "Hindee," "Indian"), and 
there the arrangement is as in our own, 133 being 

No. II. 

■■ill 1 



2 34 '3 * 

n 99 



the Greeks who go to the left. They have two quite different 
kinds of writing, 6 one of which is called sacred, the other com- 

37. They are religious to excess, far beyond any other race 
of men/ and use the following ceremonies : — They drink out of 
brazen cups, 8 which they scour every day : there is no exception 
to this practice. They wear linen garments, which they are 


Indian, 133. 
■which are singularly like the ordinal numbers of the Hieratic in Egypt — 

Hieratic, 133d. 

Both these resemble the Chinese, and the origin of the three numbers was evidently 
from simple lines, 

converted into 

Tippoo Sultan, seeing the inconsistency of following the arrangement used in a 
language read from left to right, altered it on some of his late coins, and placed the 
unit to the right. There is no representation on Egyptian monuments of an abacus 
for calculating, like that of the Greeks. — [G. W.] 

6 See note in Appendix, ch. v. 

7 The extreme religious views of the Egyptians became at length a gross super- 
stition, and were naturally a subject for ridicule and contempt. Lucian makes 
Momus express his surprise that so many persons were allowed to share divine 
honours, but is indignant at the Egyptian crew of apes, ibises, bulls, and other ri- 
diculous creatures who intruded themselves into heaven, and wonders how Jupiter 
can allow himself to be caricatured with rams' horns. Jupiter gives an answer 
worthy of an Egyptian priest, that they were mysteries not to be derided by the un- 
initiated (Deor. Concil. s. 10). Juvenal and others take advantage of the same 
opening for ridicule. — [G. W.] 

H This, he says, is the universal custom, without exception ; but we not only 
know that Joseph had a silver drinking-cup (Gen. xliv. 2, 5), but the sculptures 
show the wealthy Egyptians used glass, porcelain, and gold, sometimes inlaid with 
a coloured composition resembling enamel, or with precious stones. That persons 
who could not afford cups of more costly materials should have been contented 
with those of bronze is very probable; and Hellanicus (quoted by Ath. Deipn. xi. p. 
470 d) mentions the phiale "(dish), eyas (upright handled cup), and ethanion (strainer), 
in Egypt of bronze; but, as in Etruria, Greece, and Borne, many drinking cups 
were also of other materials. The bronze is often gilt, and long ladles (simpula) and 
other utensils are often found with the gilding still visible ; and fragments of glass, 
porcelain, and other cups are common in Egypt as in Italy. The custom then was 
not universal either in the time of Herodotus, or before, or afterwards. See note s 
on ch. 151.— [G. W.] 

Chap. 37. 



specially careful to have always fresh washed. 9 They practise 
circumcision for the sake of cleanliness, considering it hetter to 
be cleanly than comely. The priests shave their whole body 
every other day, that no lice or other impure thing may adhere 
to them when they are engaged in the service of the gods. Their 
dress is entirely of linen, 1 and their shoes of the papyrus 

9 Their attention to cleanliness was very remarkable, as is shown by their shav- 
ing the head and beard, and removing the hair from the whole body, by their fre- 
quent ablutions, and by the strict rules instituted to ensure it. Herodotus soon 
afterwards says the priests washed themselves twice every day and twice every night 
in cold water; and Porphyry (de Abstin. iv. 7), besides three ablutions every day, 
and an occasional one at night, mentions a grand ceremony of purification previous 
to their fasts, many of which lasted forty-two days, or even longer, during which 
time they abstained entirely from animal food, from herbs, and vegetables, and, 
above all, from the indulgence of the passions. The same motive of cleanliness led 
them to practise circumcision, which Herodotus afterwards mentions. Nor was this 
confined to the priests, as we learn from the mummies and from the sculptures, 
where it is made a distinctive mark between the Egyptians and their enemies ; and in 
later times, when Egypt contained many foreign settlers, it was looked upon as a 
distinctive sign between the orthodox Egyptian and the stranger, or the non-con- 
formist. None therefore were allowed to study all the secrets of Egyptian know- 
ledge unless they had submitted to this rite ; and this probably led to the notion 
that the priests alone were circumcised. Its institution in Egypt reaches to the 
most remote antiquity : we find it existing at the earliest period of which any mon- 
uments remain, more than 2400 years before our era, and there is no reason to doubt 
that it dated still earlier. — [G. W.] 

1 The dress of the priests consisted, as Herodotus states, of linen (ch. 81); but 



Book II. 

plant : 2 it is not lawful for them to wear either dress or shoes of any 
other material. They bathe twice every clay in cold water, and 

he does not say they were confined (as some have supposed) to a single robe ; and 
whether walking abroad, or officiating in the temple, they were permitted to have 
more than one garment. The high-priest styled Sem always wore a leopard-skin 
placed over the linen dress as his costume of office. (Xo. II.) Plutarch (de Is. s. 
4) agrees with Herodotus in stating that their dress was of linen and not of wool ; 
for, he adds, it would be inconsistent in men, who take so much pains to remove the 
hair from their body, to wear clothes made 
of the wool or hair of animals ; and no 
Egyptian was allowed to enter a temple 
without taking off his outer woollen cloak 
(Her. ii. 81), nor could he be buried in 
cloths of that material. But though their 
under-garment was of linen, it did not 
prevent their wearing an upper one of cot- 
ton. Pliny (xix. 1) affirms that cotton 
drosses were particularly agreeable to the 
priests ; and the Rosetta stone states that 
"cotton garments" were supplied by the 
government for the use of the temple. 
But these were probably the sacred robes 
for the statues of the gods (Plut. de Is. s. 
78); and the priests may only have been 
forbidden to wear cotton garments while 
in the temple. The votaries of Isis at 
Rome were subject to the same prohibi- 
tion, and linen dresses were adopted by 
those who had been initiated into the 
mysteries (Plut. de Is. s. 3 ; Apul. Metani. 
lib. xi.). The Egyptian and Jewish priests No - D« 

were the only ones (except perhaps those 

of India) whose dresses were ordered to be of linen. That worn by the former was 
of the finest texture, and the long robe with full sleeves, which covered the body 
and descend-ed to the ankles, was perfectly transparent, and placed over a short kilt 
of thicker quality reaching to the knees. 
Some wore a long robe of linen, extending 
from the neck to the ankles, of the same 
thick substance, and some officiated in the 
short kilt alone, the arms and legs being 
bare. Some again had a long thin dress, 
like a loose shirt, with full sleeves, reach- 
ing to the ankles, over which a wrapper of 
fine linen was bound, covering the lower 
part of the body, and falling in front below 
the knees ; the hieraphoros, while bearing 
the sacred emblems, frequently wore a 
long full apron, tied in front with long 
bands, and a strap, also of linen, passed 
over the shoulder to support it ; and some priests wore a long smock reaching 
from below the arms to the feet, and supported over the neck by straps. (Xo. I. fig. 
4.) Their head was frequently bare, sometimes covered with a wig or a tight cap ; 
but in all cases the head was closely shaved. They had a particular mode of 
gouffreying their linen dresses (also adopted in Greece, to judge from the ancient 
statues and the vases, as well as in Etruria), which impressed upon them the waving 
lines represented in the paintings, and this was done by means of a wooden in- 
strument, divided into segmental partitions 1^- inch broad on its upper face. 

No. III. 

Chap. 37. 



twice each night. Besides which they observe, so to speak, 
thousands of ceremonies. They enjoy, however, not a few ad- 

which was held by the hand while the linen was pressed upon it. One of them 
is in the Museum of Florence (fig. 2 gives the real size of the divisions). 

The fine texture of the Egyptian linen 
is fully proved by its transparency, as re- 
presented in the paintings, and by the 
statements of ancient writers, sacred (Gen. 
xli. 42 ; and 2 Chron. i. 16) as well as pro- 
fane, and by the wonderful texture of a piece 
found near Memphis, part of which is 
in my possession. In general quality it 
is equal to the finest now made ; and for 
the evenness of the threads, without 
knot or break, it is far superior to any of 
modern manufacture. It has in the inch 
540 threads, or 270 double threads in the 
warp, and 110 in the woof — a disparity 
which, as Mr. Thompson observes, belonged 
to the Egvptian " system of manufac- 
ture." (See At. Eg. W. vol. hi. p. 120, &c.) 
Pliny mentions four kinds of linen par- 
ticularly noted in Egypt, the Tanitic, the 
Pelusiac, the Butineand the Tentyritic ; and 
the same fineness of texture was ex- 
tended to the nets of Egypt, which were so delicate that they could pass through a 
man's ring, and a single person could carry a sufficient number of them'to surround 
a whole wood. (Plin. xix. 1. On the Byssus, see note 6 ch. 86.) The transparent 

No. IV. 

■Mm ",iii 

No. V. 

fineness of the linen dresses of men and women in the Egyptian paintings recalls 
the remark of Seneca (de Benef. vii. 9) on " sericas yestes," so thin that a woman 
appeared as if naked. — [G. W.] 

2 Their sandals were made of the papyrus, or of other kinds of Cyperus ; an in- 
ferior quality being of matted palm-leaves ; and they either slept on a simple skin 
stretched on the ground (Eust. in Homer. II. xvi. 235), or on a wicker bed, made 
of palm-branches, which Porphyry very justly says were called bat (de Abstin. 
iv. 7). On this bedstead, which was similar to the caff as of modern Egypt, made 
of the same materials, a mat or a skin was spread for a mattress, and their head was 
supported by a half cylinder of wood in lieu of a pillow. These pillows are fre- 
quently found in the tombs, made of acacia, sycamore, or tamarisk wood, or some- 
times of alabaster; and they are represented among the furniture of an Egyptian 
mansion, in the Tombs of the Kings, together with the richest sofas and 
fauteuils. They are still used in Ethiopia, and also in places distant from the Nile, in 



Book II. 

vantages. 3 They consume none of their own property, and are 
at no expense for anythiDg ; 4 bnt every day bread is baked for 
them of the sacred corn, and a plentiful supply of beef and of 
goose's flesh is assigned to each, and also a portion of wine 5 made 

Japan, China, the "Western Coast of Africa, in Otaheite (Tahiti), and other places. 
But soft pillows and lofty couches were also adopted in Egypt, to which last they 
mounted by steps. Cp. 2 Kings i. 4; Ps. cxxxii. 3; Prov. vii. 16. — [G. W.] 

3 The greatest of these was the paramount influence they exercised over the 
spiritual, and consequently over the temporal, concerns of the whole community, 
which was secured to them through their superior knowledge, by the dependence of 
all classes on them for the instruction they chose to impart, and by their exclusive 
right of possessing all the secrets of religion which were thought to place them 
far above the rest of mankind. Nor did their power over an individual cease with 
his life ; it would even reach him after death ; and their veto could prevent his 
being buried in his tomb, and consign his name to lasting infamy. They thus 
usurped the power and place of the gods, whose will they affected to be commis- 
sioned to pronounce ; and they acted as though the community had been made for 
their rule, and not their own office for the benefit of the community. Priestcraft 
indeed is always odious, but especially when people are taught to believe what the 
priests themselves know to be mere fable ; and the remark of Cato, " It appears 
strange that one priest can refrain from laughing when he looks at another," might 
well apply to those of Egypt. (Cic. de Nat. Deor. i. 26; de Div. ii.) It must how- 
ever be admitted that they did not make a show of great sanctity, nor set them- 
selves above the customs of society, in order to increase their power over it ; they 
were good husbands and fathers, and they showed the highest regard for all social 
duties. Mankind too had not then been enlightened by Christianity ; and the Egyp- 
tian hierarchy had the merit of having enjoined, practised, and ensured morality, 
and contributed greatly to the welfare of the people they so long governed. — 
[G. W.] 

4 They were exempt from taxes, and were provided with a daily allowance of 
meat, corn, and wine ; and when Pharaoh, by the advice of Joseph, took all the 
land of the Egyptians in lieu of corn (Gen. xlvii. 20, 22), the land of the priests was 
exempt, and the tax of the fifth part of the produce was not levied upon it. 
Diodorus (i. 72) says the land was divided into three portions, one of which 
belonged to the king, another to the priests, and the third to the military caste. — 
[G. W.] 

6 Herodotus is quite right in saying they were allowed to drink wine, and the 
assertion of Plutarch (dels. s. 6) that the kings (who were also of the priestly caste), 
were not permitted to drink it before the reign of Psammetiohus is contradicted by 
the authority of the Bible (Gen. xl. 10, 13) and the sculptures; and if on some 00- 


from the grape. Fish they are not allowed to eat ; 6 and beans, 
— which none of the Egyptians ever sow, or eat, if they come 
up of their own accord, either raw or boiled 7 — the priests will 
not even endure to look on, since they consider it an unclean 
kind of pulse. Instead of a single priest, each god has the at- 
tendance of a college, at the head of which is a chief priest ; 8 
when one of these dies, his son is appointed in his room. 

casions it really was not admitted into the temple of Heliopolis, it was not excluded 
from other temples, and wine was among the usual offerings made to the gods. He- 
rodotus tells us (ch. 39) that they began their sacrifices by a libation of wine ; and it 
is evident from the sculptures that it was also admitted into the temples of the Sun, 
or at least at his altar in other temples. And though Hecatseus asserts that the 
kings were allowed a stated quantity, according to the regulations in the sacred 
books (Plut. de Is. s. 6), they were reported by the Egyptians to have exceeded 
those limits, as in the case of Mycerinus and Amasis. (Her. ii. 133, 174.) Of the 
kings and the laws respecting them, sec At. Eg. W. vol. i. p. 249-255, and compare 
notes on chs. 18, 60, 63, 77.— [G. W.] 

6 Though fish were so generally eaten by the rest of the Egyptians, they were 
forbidden to the priests, and when on the 9th day of the 1st month (Thoth), when 
a religious ceremony obliged all the people to eat a fried fish before the door of their 
houses, the priests were not even then expected to conform to the general custom, 
but were contented to burn theirs at the appointed time (Plut. de Is. s. 1.) The 
principal food of the priests, as Diodorus justly states, was beef and goose, and the 
gazelle, ibex, oryx, and wild-fowl were not forbidden ; but they " abstained from 
most sorts of puise, from mutton, and swine's flesh, and in their more solemn purifi- 
cations they even excluded salt from their meals" (Plut. de Is. s. 5). Garlick, 
leeks, onions, lentils, peas, and above all beans, are said to have been excluded 
from the tables of the priests. See Diod. Sic. i. 81, 89; Plut. de Is. s. 8 ; Juv. Sat. 
xv. 9.— [G. W.] 

7 Diodorus (i. 89) is more correct when he says that some only of the Egyptians 
abstained from beans, and it may be doubted if they grew in Egypt without being 
sown. The custom of forbidding beans to the priests was borrowed from Egypt by 
Pythagoras. Cicero (de Div. i. 30) thinks it was from their disturbing the mind 
during sleep. In like manner the prohibition against eating swine's flesh and fish 
was doubtless from the desire to abstain from food which was apt to engender cuta- 
neous disorders in persons of sedentary habits, while the active life of other classes 
(having the " dura messorum ilia ") enabled them to eat the same things without 
endangering their health. This will not, however, account for mutton being for- 
bidden in the Thebaid, which is the most wholesome meat in Egypt ; and we can 
only suppose it was owing to sheep having been few in number at the time the law 
was first made ; when they were anxious to encourage the breed for the sake of the 
wool, and feared to lessen their number, as was the case with the cow both in Egypt 
and India. The name Kva/xos was also applied to the seeds of the Nelumbium or 
Indian Lotus. See note 9 on ch. 92.— [G. W.] 

8 This is fully confirmed by the sculptures. They were not, however, always re- 
placed at their death by their sons ; and though this was often the case, a son might 
become a priest of another deity, and have a higher or lower grade than his father. 
He could also be a priest during his father's lifetime, and numerous sons could not 
expect the same office as their father. The son of a priest was generally a priest 
also ; and when an elder son succeeded to the same office held before by his father, 
it is very possible that he inherited the same dress of investiture, which was also 
the custom of the Jews (Exod. xxix. 29) ; but a priest's son might be a military 

The priests had various grades. The chief priests held the first posts, and one 
of them had an office of great importance, which was usually fulfilled by the king 


38. Male kine are reckoned to belong to Epaphus, 9 and are 
therefore tested in the following manner : — One of the priests 

himself. He was the prophet and officiating high-priest, and had the title of "Sem," 
I ] tbBl in addition to that of chief priest, and he was distinguished by wearing a 

leopard's skin over his ordinary robes. (See n. 1 ch. 37, woodcut No. II. He does 
not appear to have ranked above chief-priests, being mentioned after them on the 
Rosetta stone, but to have been one of them in a particular capacity. He might 
also be a chief-priest of one god, and Sem of another ; and one in a tomb at Thebes 
is called " chief-priest of Amun, Sem in the temple of Pthah, superior of the priests 
of the upper and lower country ; " and his father was chief-priest without the ad- 
ditional office of Sem. The prophets were particularly versed in all matters relating 
to the ceremonies, the worship of the gods, the laws, and the discipline of the whole 
order, and they not only presided over the temple and the sacred rites, but directed 
the management of the sacred revenues. (Clem. Alex. Strom, vi. p. 758). In the 
solemn processions they had a conspicuous part ; they bore the holy hydria or vase, 
which was frequently carried by the king on similar occasions, and they with the 
chief-priests were the first whose opinion was consulted respecting the introduction 
of any new measure connected with religion, as we find in the decree of the Rosetta 
stone, which was "established by the chief-priests and prophets, and those who 
have access to the adytum to clothe the gods, and the pterophorae, and the sacred 
scribes, and all the other priests .... assembled in the temple of Memphis." Some 
of the principal functionaries "in the solemn processions" are thus mentioned by 
Clemens (Strom, vi. p. 757): "The singer usually goes first, bearing the symbols of 
music, whose duty is said to be to carry two of the books of Hermes . . . . he is fol- 
lowed by the Horoscopus, bearing m his hand the measure of time (hourglass), and 
the palm (branch), the symbols of astrology (astronomy) .... next comes the 
Hierogrammat (sacred scribe) having feathers on his head (see woodcut fig. 9, note 
1 on ch. 37), and in his hands a book (papyrus) with a ruler (palette) in which is ink 
and a reed for writing (fig. 1), then the stolistes, bearing the cubit of justice (fig. 2), 

and the cup of libation (fig. 3) . . . and lastly the Prophet, the president of the 
temple, who carries in his bosom a water-jar, followed by persons bearing loaves of 
bread." See procession in pi. 76 of At, Eg. W. vol. vi. ; and below, note 9 on ch. 
58.— [G. W.] 

9 Epaphus, Herodotus says (in ch. 153), is the Greek name of Apis, of which it 
is probably only a corruption (see also B. iii. chs. 27, 28). In examining a bull for 
sacrifice, he adds, they admitted none but those which were free from black hairs ; 
and Maimonides states that "if only two white or black hairs were found lying upon 
each other, the animal was considered unfit for sacrifice " (Maim, de Yaeea rufa, 
c. 1). This calls' to mind the law of the Israelites, commanding them to " bring a 
red heifer without spot, wherein was no blemish " (Numb. xix. 2). But the sculp- 
tures show that bulls with black, and red, or white spots, were commonly killed both 
for the altar and the table, and the only prohibition seems to have been against 
killing heifers ; and to ensure a regard for them they were held sacred (see below, 
n. 7 ch. 41). It was on this account that Moses proposed to go three days in the 
desert, lest the anger of the Egyptians should be raised on seeing the Israelites 

Chap. 38, 39. 



appointed for the purpose searches to see if there is a single 
black hair on the whole body, since in that case the beast is un- 
clean. He examines him all over, standing on his legs, and 
again laid upon his back ; after which he takes the tongue out 
of his mouth, to see if it be clean in respect of the prescribed 
marks (what they are I will mention elsewhere 1 ); he also in- 
spects the hairs of the tail, to observe if they grow naturally. 
If the animal is pronounced clean in all these various points, 
the priest marks him by twisting a piece of papyrus round his 
horns, and attaching thereto some sealing-clay, which he then 
stamps with his own signet-ring. 2 After this the beast is led 
away ; and it is forbidden, under the penalty of death, to sacri- 
fice an animal which has not been marked in this way. 

39. The following is their manner of sacrifice : — They lead 
the victim, marked with their signet, to the altar where they 
are about to offer it, and setting the wood alight, pour a libation 
of wine upon the altar in front of the victim, and at the same 
time invoke the god. Then they slay the animal, 3 and cutting 

sacrifice a heifer (Exo-d. viii. 26) ; and by this very opposite choice of a victim they 
were made unequivocally to denounce, and to separate themselves from, the rites oi 
Egypt.-[G. W.] 

1 It is not at all clear that the reference is to hi. 28, as the commentators gener- 
ally suppose (see Larcher, Bahr, and Blakesley ad loc.) : for Herodotus is there 
describing, not the animal which might be offered to Apis, but the animal which 
was regarded as an incarnation of Apis. Perhaps we have here, as in vii. 213, a 
promise that is unfulfilled. 

2 The sanction given for sacrificing a bull was by a papyrus 
band tied by the priest round the horns, which he stamped 
with his signet on sealing-clay. Documents sealed with fine 
clay and impressed with a signet are very common ; but the 
exact symbols impressed on it by the priest on this occasion 
are not known. Castor says they consisted of a man kneeling 
with his hands tied behind him, and a sword pointed to his throat, which was prob- 
ably this (of woodcut), though it has not been found on a seal. The clay used in 
closing and sealing papyri is of very fine quality. A similar kind was employed for 
official seals by the Greeks and Assyrians. On signet-rings see my note on B. hi. 
ch. 41.— [G. W.] 

3 We learn from the sculptures that the victim, having its feet tied together, was 
thrown on the ground; and the priest having placed his hand on its head (as in Le- 
vit. i. 4 ; iii. 8), or holding it by the horn, cut its throat, apparently from ear to 
ear, as is the custom of the Moslems at the present day. The skin was then re- 

:< 4 

oe <D 

No. I. 



Book II. 

off his head, proceed to flay the body. 4 Next they take the 
head, and heaping imprecations on it, if there is a market-place 
and a body of Greek traders in the city, they carry it there and 
sell it instantly ; if, however, there are no Greeks among them, 
they throw the head into the river. The imprecation is to this 
effect : — They pray that if any evil is impending either over 
those who sacrifice, or over universal Egypt, it may be made to 
fall upon that head. These practices, the imprecations upon 
the heads, and the libations of wine, prevail all over Egypt, and 
extend to victims of all sorts ; and hence the Egyptians will 
never eat the head of any animal. 

40. The disembowelling and burning are however different 
in different sacrifices. I will mention the mode in use with 

moved, and after the head had been taken away, the foreleg or shoulder, generally 
the right (as in Levit. viii. 26), was the first joint cut off. This was considered, and 
called, the chosen part (Sapt), and was the first offered on the altar. (Cp. 1 Sam. 
ix. 24 ; Levit. vii. 33 ; viii. 25.) The other parts were afterwards cut up ; and the 
shoulder, the thigh, the head, the ribs, the rump, the heart, and the kidneys, were 
the principal ones placed on the altar. The head, which Herodotus says was either 
taken to the market and sold to strangers, or thrown into the river, is as common 

No. III. 

No. IV. 

on the altars as any other joint, and an instance sometimes occurs of the whole ani- 
mal being placed upon it. We may therefore conclude that the imprecations he 
says were called down upon the head were confined to certain occasions and to one 
particular victim, as in the case of the scapegoat of the Jews (Levit. xvi. 8, 10, 21), 
and it was of that particular animal that no Egyptian would eat the head. It may 
not have been a favourite joint, since we find it given to a poor man for holding the 
walking-sticks of the guests at a party ; but he was an Egyptian, not a foreigner, 
and this is in the paintings of a tomb at Thebes, of the early time of the 18th dy- 
nasty (woodcut No. IV.)— [G. W.] 

4 Homer's description of the mode of slaughtering an animal (II. i. 459-466) is 
very similar : "They drew back the head and killed it, and after skinning it they 
cut off the legs (n-npobs), which being wrapped up in the fat (caul) folded double, 
they placed portions of raw meat thereon ; an old man then burnt it on split wood, 

Chap. 40. 



respect to the goddess whom they regard as the greatest, 5 and 
honour with the chiefest festival. When they have flayed their 

No. II. 

and poured black wine on it, while the young men beside him held five-pronged 
spits. When the legs (thighs and shoulders) were burnt, and they had tasted the 
' inward parts,' they cut the rest into small pieces, and put them on skewers (spits), 
roasting them cleverly, and took all off again." — [G. W.] 

6 Herodotus here evidently alludes to Isis, as he shows in chs. 59, 61, where he 
speaks of her fete at Busiris ; but he afterwards confounds her with Athor (ch. 41). 
This is very excusable in the historian, since the attributes of those two goddesses 
are often so closely connected that it is difficult to distinguish them in the sculptures, 
unless their names are directly specified. It was however more so in late than in 
early times, and at Dendera Athor has very nearly the same appearance as Isis, 


steer they pray, and when their prayer is ended they take the 
paunch of the animal out entire, leaving the intestines and the 
fat inside the body ; they then cut off the legs, the end of the 
loins, the shoulders, and the neck ; and having so done, they 
fill the body of the steer with clean bread, honey, raisins, figs, 
frankincense, myrrh, and other aromatics. 6 Thus filled, they 
burn the body, pouring over it great quantities of oil. Before 
offering the sacrifice they fast, and while the bodies of the victims 
are being consumed they beat themselves. Afterwards, when 
they have concluded this part of the ceremony, they have the 
other parts of the victim served up to them for a repast. 

41. The male kine, therefore, if clean, and the male calves, 
are used for sacrifice by the Egyptians universally ; but the 
female they are not allowed to sacrifice, 7 since they are sacred 
to Isis. The statue of this goddess has the form of a woman 
but with horns like a cow, resembling thus the Greek represen- 
tations of Io ; 8 and the Egyptians, one and all, venerate cows 

though still a distinct goddess, as is shown by each of them having a temple at that 
place. Herodotus (in ch. 41) says that cows were sacred to Isis, whose statues had 
the head of that animal ; but it was to Athor, the Venus of Egypt, that they were 
sacred ; and it is only when one adopts the attributes of the other, that Isis has the 
head of the spotted cow of Athor, or that this goddess takes the name of Isis. Plu- 
tarch says Isis was called Muth, Athyri, and Methuer (de Is. s. 56). That Herodo- 
tus was really describing Athor and not Isis is shown by the city where the cattle 
were sent being Atarbechis. (See below note 8 on ch. 41.) The Roman poets made 
a double error in confounding Isis with Athor, and even with Juno, whence " niveit 
Saturnia vacca." Great honours were also paid to the Cow of Athor at Momemphis, 
where Venus was particularly worshipped ; and wherever she had a temple a sacred 
Cow was kept, as Strabo says was the case at Momemphis as well as other places in 
the Delta ; and at Chusae, a small village in the Ilcrmopolite nome where Venus was 
worshipped under the title of Urania. — [G. YV.] 

c The custom of filling the body with cakes and various things, and then burn- 
ing it all, calls to mind the Jewish burnt offering (Levit. viii. 25, 26). — [G. \\\] 

7 In order to prevent the breed of cattle from being diminished ; but some mys- 
terious reason being assigned for it, the people were led to respect an ordonnance 
which might not otherwise have been attended to. This was the general system, 
and the reason of many things being held sacred may be attributed to a necessary 
precaution. It is indeed distinctly stated by Porphyry (de Abstin. ii. s. 11), who 
says " the Egyptians and Phoenicians would rather eat human flesh than that of 
cows, on account of the value of the animal, though they both sacrifice and eat 
bulls ; " and the same was doubtless the origin of a similar superstition in India. In 
another place Porphyry (iv. 7) says the same thing, and adds "that certain bulls 
were held in the same veneration, while others were preserved for labour." Some 
years ago no one was allowed to kill a calf in Egypt, and a permission from the gov- 
ernment was required for the slaughter of a bull; but this soon degenerated into a 
mere tax, and cows and calves were permitted to be killed on the payment of a 
duty. In India and Thibet the veneration for the cow is as remarkable as in Egypt. 
Jerome also remarks, "In uEgypto et Palfflstina propter bourn raritatem nemo vac- 
cam comedit" (ii. adv. Jovin. 7). Porphyry (de Abstin.) says the first who sacri- 
ficed did not offer animals, but herbs and flowers ; and (de Sacrif. ii.) flour, honey, 
and fruits.— [G. W.] 

8 This name is evidently connected with Ehe, "the Cow," of the Egyptians, 

Chap. 41. 



much more highly than any other animal. This is the reason 
why no native of Egypt, whether man or woman, will give a 
Greek a kiss, 9 or use the knife of a Greek, or his spit, or his 
cauldron, or taste the flesh of an ox, known to be pure, if it has 
been cut with a Greek knife. When kine die, the following is 
the manner of their sepulture : — The females are thrown into 
the river ; the males are buried in the suburbs of the towns, 
with one or both of their horns appearing above the surface of 
the ground to mark the place. When the bodies are decayed, a 
boat comes, at an appointed time, from the island called Proso- 
pitis, 1 — which is a portion of the Delta, nine schcenes incircum- 

which was given to one of their goddesses; but the remark of Eustathius that "Io, 
in the language of the Argives, is the moon," if '•xplained by its being the Egyp- 
tian name 7oA, " the moon," which, though quite distinct from £Jhe, agrees well with 
Io being looked upon by the Greeks as the moon, and with the supposed relation- 
ship of the Egyptians and the Argives, 
who were said to have been a colony taken 
by Danaus from the Nile. Io is reported 
to have visited Egypt in her wanderings, 
and to have been changed into Isis, in the 
city of Coptos, where she was worshipped 
under that name. (See Diod. i. 24 ; and 
comp. Ovid Met. i. 588, 747 ; Propert. ii. 
Elog. 28. 17 ; and At. Eg. W. vol. iv. p. 
382, 388, 390; vol. v. p. 195.) The story 
of her having given birth to Epaphus (the 
Apis of Egypt) was probably a later addi- 
tion : but her wandering to the Nile, like 
the fable related by Herodotus (Book i. 
ch. 5), points to the connection between 
Egypt and Argos. The name Ioh, or Aah, 
written Iho, or Aha, is an instance of the 
medial vowel at the end of a word in hie- 
roglvphics. (See below, n. 2 , and App. ch. 
v. § 16.)— [G. W.] 

9 The Egyptians considered all foreign- 
ers unclean, with whom they would not 
eat, and particularly the Greeks. " The 
Egyptians might not eat bread with the 
Hebrews, for that is an abomination unto 
the Egyptians " (Gen. xliii. 32) ; and the 
same prejudice is continued by the Hindoos, 
and by many of the Moslems, to the pres- 
ent day. But the last have gradations, 
like the ancient Egyptians, who looked 
with greater horror on those who did not cut the throat from ear to ear of all ani- 
mals used for food. — [G. W.] 

1 Some suppose the town of Prosopitis to have been also called Nicium. The 
island was between the Canopic and Sebennytic branches, at the fork, and on the 
west side of the apex of the Delta. It was there that the Athenians, who came to 
assist the Egyptians against the Persians, were besieged, B.C. 460-458. (Thucyd. i. 
109.) It is not to be supposed that all the bulls that died in Egypt were carried to 
Atarbcchis to be buried; and much less that all the bodies of heifers were thrown 
into the river. Like other animals they were embalmed and buried in the place 
where they died, and their mummies are consequently found at Thebes and in other 


ference, — and calls at the several cities in turn to collect the 
bones of the oxen. Prosopitis is a district containing several 
cities ; the name of that from which the boats come is Atarbe- 
chis. 2 Venus has a temple there of much sanctity. Great 
numbers of men go forth from this city and proceed to the other 
towns, where they dig up the bones, which they take away with 
them and bury together in one place. The same practice pre- 
vails with respect to the interment of all other cattle — the law 
so determining ; they do not slaughter any of them. 

42. Such Egyptians as possess a temple of the Theban Jove, 
or live in the Thebaic canton, 3 offer no sheep in sacrifice/ but 

parts of the country. The Egyptians were particular in preventing anything re- 
maining above ground, which by putrefaction could taint the air ; and this was the 
reason of their obliging every town to embalm whatever died there. It is probable 
that villages near Atarbechis sent the carcases of bulls to that city, which led He- 
rodotus to suppose that all places did so ; as other animals were sent from different 
villages in the neighbourhood to the chief city, where they were sacred. To pollute 
the Nile with dead carcases would have been in the highest degree inconsistent in a 
people so particular on this point ; and the notion of Herodotus can only be ex- 
plained by their sometimes feeding the crocodiles with them. The prejudice in fa- 
vour of the river still remains in Egypt, and even the Moslems swear " by that pure 
stream."— [G. W.] 

2 Athor being the Venus of Egypt, Atarbechis was translated Aphroditopolis. 
It was composed of alar or athor, and bechi or bek, " city," which occurs again in 
Baalbek, the city of Baal, or the Sun (Heliopolis); Rabek, the Assyrian name of the 
Egyptian Heliopolis, from the Egyptian Re or Ra, " the sun." This Aphroditopolis 
is supposed to have been at the modern Shibbeen y in the Isle of Prosopitis, between 
the Canopic and Sebennytic branches of the Nile, on an offset of the latter, called 
Thermuthiac, which formed the western, as the Sebennytic did the eastern, boundary 
of the Isle of Natho. There were other towns called Aphroditopolis in Upper 
Egypt. Athor signifies, as Plutarch says, "Horus' habitation," Thy-hor, or Teihor, 
THI-gOP, the origin of the name Thueris, who, however, was made into another 
person (Plut. de Is. s. 56, and 19). As the morning-star she issued from the moun- 
tain of Thebes under the form of a spotted cow, and as the evening-star she retired 
behind it at night. She also represented Night, and in this capacity received the 
sun at his setting into her arms as he retired behind the western mountain of Thebes. 
It was from this that the western part of the city was called Pathyris, " belonging 
to Athor," who presided over the west. (On Athor see At. Eg. W. vol. iv. 386 to 
394.) Her great importance is shown by the many cities dedicated to her in Upper 
and Lower Egypt, as well as temples in other places, from the earliest times to the 
Ptolemies and Caesars ; and Venus was the great goddess of Phoenicia and other 
countries. — [G. W.] 

3 On the cantons or nomes of Egypt see note 7 on ch. 164. It has erroneously 
been supposed that each nome "was kept distinct from the others by the difference 
of religion and rites." It is true there was a chief god of the nome; but cities of 
different nomes were often dedicated to the same deity; and even a city might have 
a chief god who was not the one of the nome, as Eileithyia was in her city within 
the nome of Apollinopolis. The numerous divinities worshipped throughout Egypt 
were also admitted as contemplar gods in any part of the country. See note 6 on 
this chapter.— [G. W.] 

4 Sheep are never represented on the altar, or slaughtered for the table, at 
Thebes, though they were kept there for their wool; and Plutarch says "none of 
the Egyptians eat sheep, except the Lycopolitcs" (de Isid. s. 72). Goats were killed, 
but the Theban gentry seem to have preferred the ibex or wild goat, the oryx, the 
gazelle, and other game. These, however, were confined to the wealthier classes ; 


only goats ; for the Egyptians do not all worship the same gods, 5 
excepting Isis and Osiris, the latter of whom they say is the 
Grecian Bacchus. 6 Those, on the contrary, who possess a tem- 

others lived principally on beef, Nile geese, and other wild fowl ; and some were 
satisfied with fish, either fresh or salted, with an occasional goose or a joint of meat; 
and the numerous vegetables Egypt produced appeared in profusion on every table. 
Lentil porridge was, as at present, a great article of food for the poor, as well as the 
raphanus {fgl) (Herod, ii. 1'25), " cucumbers (or gourds), melons, and leeks, onions, 
and garlick" (Num. xi. 5), of which the gourd (Jcus, Arabic kuz), melon (abtikh, 
Arabic batikli), onion (bust, Arabic busl), 
and garlick (t6m y Arabic t6m) retain their 
names in Egypt to the present day. They 
had also fruits and roots of various kinds ; 
and Diodorus (i. 80) says that children had 
merely " a little meal of the coarsest kind, 
the pith of the papyrus, baked under the 
ashes, and the roots and stalks of marsh- 
weeds." Beef and goose, ibex, gazelle, 
oryx, and wild fowl were also presented to 

the gods ; and onions, though forbidden to the priests, always held a prominent 
place on their altar, with the Jigl (raphanus, figs. *7, 8), and gourds (figs. 5, 6), grapes, 
figs (especially of the sycamore, figs. 3, 4), corn, and various flowers. (See ch. 39, 
woodcut No. II.) Wine, milk, beer, and a profusion of cakes and bread, also 
formed part of the offerings, and incense was presented at every great sacrifice. — 
[G. W.] 

5 Though each city had its presiding deity, many others of neighbouring and of 
distant towns were also admitted to its temples as contemplar gods, and none were 
positively excluded except some local divinities, and certain animals, whose sanctity 
was confined to particular places. In one city Amun was the chief deity, as at 
Thebes ; in another Pthah, as at Memphis ; in another Re (the sun), as at Heliopolis ; 
and some cities which were consecrated to the same deity were distinguished by 
the affix "the great," "the lesser," as Aphroditopolis, and Diospolis, Magna, and 
Farva. Many again bore a name not taken from the chief god of the place ; but 
every city and every sanctuary had its presiding deity, with contemplar gods, who 
were members of the general Pantheon — those of a neighbouring town generally 
holding a conspicuous post in the temple, after the chief deity of the place. 
Each town had also a triad composed of the great god of the place and two 
other members. Many local deities scarcely went beyond their own city or nome ; 
and some animals, sacred in one province, were held in abhorrence in another. 
Thus, the inhabitants of Ombos, Athribis, and the Northern Crocodilopolis (after- 
wards called Arsinoe), near the Lake Moeris, honoured the crocodile ; those of Ten- 
tyris, Heracleopolis, and Apollinopolis Magna were its avowed enemies ; and as the 
Ombites fought with the Tentyrites in the cause of their sacred animal, so a war was 
waged betw r een the Oxyrhinchites and Cynopolites in consequence of the former 
having eaten a dog, to avenge an affront offered by the Cynopolites, who had brought 
to table the sacred fish of Oxyrhinchus. (Plut. de Isid. v. 44.) The reason of these 
local honours was not originally connected with religion ; and the sanctity of the 
crocodile, and of certain fish, at Crycodilopolis, Oxyrhinchus, and other places 
distant from the Nile, was instituted in order to induce the inhabitants to keep up 
the canals. All, it is true, worshipped Osiris, as well as his sister Isis, for as he 
was judge of the dead, all were equally amenable to his tribunal; but it cannot be 
said that he and Isis were the only deities worshipped throughout Egypt, since 
Amun, Pthah, and the other great gods, and many also of the second, as well as of 
the third order, were universally venerated. — [G. W.] 

6 See below, note 6 on ch. 48. "Osiris," says Diodorus, "has been con- 
sidered the same as Sarapis, Bacchus, Pluto, or Ammon ; others have thought 
him Jupiter ; many Pan : " and he endeavours to identify him with the sun, 
and Isis with the moon. But these notions were owing to similarities being 
traced in the attributes of certain gods of the Greek and Egyptian Pantheons, 

Vol. II.— 5 


pie dedicated to Mendes/ or belong to the Mendesian canton, 
abstain from offering goats, and sacrifice sheep instead. The 
Thebans, and such as imitate them in their practice, give the 
following account of the origin of the custom : — " Hercules/' 
they say, " wished of all things to see Jove, but Jove did not 
choose to be seen of him. 8 At length, when Hercules persist- 
ed, Jove hit on a device — to flay a ram, and, cutting off his 
head, hold the head before him, and cover himself with the 
fleece. In this guise he showed himself to Hercules." There- 
fore the Egyptians give their statues of Jupiter the face of a 
ram ; 9 and from them the practice has passed to the Ammo- 

and one often possessed some that belonged to several. Thus the principal charac- 
ter of Osiris was that of Pluto, because he was Judge of the dead, and ruler of 
Amenti or Hades; and he was supposed to be Bacchus, when he lived on earth, and 
taught man to till the land. — [G. W.] 

7 The mounds of Ashmoun, on the canal leading to Menzalch, mark the site of 
Mendes. The Greeks considered Pan to be both Mendes and Khem ; they called 
Chemmis in Upper Egypt Pauopolis, and gave the capital of the Mendesian nome 
to Pan, who was said by Herodotus (ch. 46) to have been figured with the head and 
legs of a goat. Unfortunately no monument remains at Ashmoun to give the name 
and form of the god of Mendes ; but it is certain that he was not Khem, the " Pan 
of Thebes" {Uav &yfltov), who had the attributes of Priapus, and was one of the great 
gods. Mandoo again (or Munt), whose name appears to be related to Mendes, had 
the head of a hawk: and no god of the Egyptian Pantheon is represented with the 
head and legs of a goat. The notion is Greek ; and Jablouski is quite right in say- 
ing that Mendes did not signify a " goat." There is a tablet in the British Museum 
(No. 356) with a goat represented much in the same manner as an Apis; but the 
legend over it contains no reference to Mendes. Khem, like the Greek Pan, was 
" universal nature ; " and as he presided over everything generated, he was the god 
of vegetable as well as animal life ; and though the god of gardens had with 
the Greeks another name, he was really the same deity under his phallic form. 
-[G. W.] 

8 This fable accords with the supposed meaning of the name of Amun, which 
Manetho says was " concealment; " but the reason of the god having the head of 
an animal would apply to so many others, that it ceases to do so to any one in par- 
ticular. HecatSBua derived Amun from a word signifying " come," in allusion to 
his being invoked (Plut. de Isid. 5. 9) ; and Iamblichus says it implies that which 
brings to light, or is manifested. Amoni means " envelope," and cimoinc is "come." 
-[G. W.] 

a See above, notes e , 9 , on ch. 29. The god Noum (Nou, Noub, or Nef), with a 

ram's head, answered to Jupiter, and he was the first member of the Triad of the 

Cataracts, composed of Noum, Sate, andAnouke* (Jupiter, Juno, and Vesta). Amun 

again was also considered the same as Jupiter, because lie was the King of the 

gods ; and it was from his worship that Thebes received the name of Diospolis, 

" the city of Jove," answering to No- Amun or Amun-na of the Bible (Jcr. xlvi. 25 ; 

Ezek. xxx. 14, 15, 16), the Amun-ei (" abode of Amun"), or Amun- 

h t^Jli ^"^ ( '' N, ' :1 ("the great abode of Amun," or "Amun-ei" only?) of the 

1 A/WA J sculptures. Amun and Noum, having both some of the attributes 

of Jupiter, naturally became confounded by the Greeks; and the 

^ lllll ^ tmm ^ custom of one god occasionally receiving the attributes of another 
BBS ^-a- 1 doubtless led them into error. The greatest interchange, however, 
yyy^ ft was between Amun and Khem ; but as this was only at Thebes, and 
little known to the Greeks, the same misapprehension did not take 
place, and Khem by the Greeks was only considered to be Pan. Yet Pan again was 
supposed by them to be Mendes ; and the two names of Amun and Amunre, given 

Chap. 42, 43. SACRIFICE OF A RAM AT THEBES. ft] 

mans, who are a joint colony of Egyptians and Ethiopians, 
speaking a language between the two ; hence also, in my opin- 
ion, the latter people took their name of Ammonians, since the 
Egyptian name for Jupiter is Amun. Such then is the reason 
why the Thebans do not sacrifice rams, but consider them sacred 
animals. Upon one day in the year, however, at the festival of 
Jupiter, they slay a single ram, and stripping off the fleece, cover 
with it the statue of that god, as he once covered himself, and 
then bring up to the statue of Jove an image of Hercules. 
When this has been done, the whole assembly beat their breasts 
in mourning for the ram, and afterwards bury him in a holy 

43. The account which I received of this Hercules makes 
him one of the twelve gods. 1 Of the other Hercules, with whom 
the Greeks are familiar, I could hear nothing in any part of 
Egypt. That the Greeks, however (those I mean who gave the 
son of Amphitryon that name), took the name 2 from the Egyp- 

to the same god, would probably have perplexed the Greeks, if they had happened 
to perceive that additional title of Amun. It is, however, only right to say that the 
Ethiopians frequently gave the name of Amun to the ram-headed Noum, and, being 
their greatest god, was to them what Jupiter was to the Greeks. See my note on 
Book iv. ch. 181.— [G. W.] 

1 Here again the same confusion occurs, from the claims of two gods to the 
character of Hercules — Khons, the third member of the Theban Triad, and Moui, 
who is called " Son of the Sun." The latter was the god of Sebennytus, where 
he was known under the name of Gem, Sem, or Gemnouti, whence the Coptic ap- 
pellation of that city Gemnouti. There was another Heracleopolis, the capital of a 
Dome of the same name, which is now marked by the mounds of Anasieh, the lines 
of the Copts, a little to the south of the entrance to the Fyoom. Moui appears to 
be the splendour or force of the sun, and hence the god of power, a divine attribute 
— the Greek Hercules being strength, a gift to man. The Egyptian Hercules was 
the abstract idea of divine power, and it is not therefore surprising that Herodotus 
could learn nothing of the Greek Hercules, who was a hero unknown in Egypt. The 
connexion between strength and heat may be traced even in the Greek appellation 
of Hercules. Alcides, his patronymic (taken from his grandfather Alcreus), and the 
name of his mother Alcniama, were derived from aA/07, " strength ;" and Hercules 
may even be related to the Semitic har, harh, " heat," or " burning" (analogous to 
the Teutonic har, "fire"), and perhaps to aor, "light," in Hebrew, or to the Hor 
(Horus) of Egypt. The Etruscans called him Herkle, or Ercle. In the Hebrew, 
" Samson " recalls the name of Sem, the Egyptian Hercules. Hercules being the 
eun, the twelve labours of the later hero may have been derived from the twelve 
signs of the zodiac. Hercules, as Herodotus, Macrobius, and others state, was par- 
ticularly worshipped at Tyre ; "but," adds Macrobius, " the Egyptians venerate him 
with the most sacred and august rites, and look upon the period when his worship 
was first adopted by them as beyond the reach of all memorials. He is believed to 
have killed the Giants, when in the character of the valour of the gods he fought in 
defence of Heaven ;" which accords with the title of a work called " Semnuthis," 
written by Apollonides or Horapius (in Theophil. Antioch. ad Autolyc. 2. 6), de- 
scribing the wars of the gods against the Giants, and recalls the Egyptian title of 
the god of Sebennytus. Cicero mentions one Hercules who was " Nilogenitus ;" but 
Hercules was derived by the Greeks from the Phoenicians rather than from Egypt. 
See note 7 on ch. 44, and note 3 ch. 1*71. — [G. W.] 

2 Herodotus, who derived his knowledge of the Egyptian religion from the pro- 


tians, and not the Egyptians from the Greeks, 3 is I think clearly- 
proved, among other arguments, by the fact that both the 
parents of Hercules, Amphitryon as well as Alcmena, were of 
Egyptian origin. 4 Again, the Egyptians disclaim all knowledge 
of the names of Neptune and the Dioscuri, 5 and do not include 
them in the number of their gods ; but had they adopted the 
name of any god from the Greeks, these would have been the 
likeliest to obtain notice, since the Egyptians, as I am well con- 
vinced, practised navigation at that time, and the Greeks also 
were some of them mariners, so that they would have been more 
likely to know the names of these gods than that of Hercules. 
But the Egyptian Hercules is one of their ancient gods. Seven- 
teen thousand years before the reign of Amasis, the twelve gods 
were, they affirm, produced from the eight : 6 and of these twelve, 
Hercules is one. 

44. In the wish to get the best information that I could on 
these matters, I made a voyage to Tyre in Phoenicia, hearing 

fessional interpreters, seems to have regarded the word " Hercules " as Egyptian. 
It is scarcely necessary to say that no Egyptian god has a name from which that of 
Hercules can by any possibility have been formed. The word ( r Hpa/cAf}$) seems to 
be pure Greek, and has been reasonably enough derived from "Hpo, " the goddess 
Juno," and K\eus " glory " (see Scott and Liddell's Lexicon, p. 597). 

3 See the last note but one. The tendency of the Greeks to claim an indigenous 
origin for the deities they borrowed from strangers, and to substitute physical for 
abstract beings, readily led them to invent the story of Hercules, and every digitus 
vindice nodus was cut by the interposition of his marvellous strength. Even the 
Arabs call forth some hero to account for natural phenomena, or whatever wonder- 
ful action they think right to attribute to man ; and the opening of the Straits of 
Gibraltar is declared by Edrisi to have been the work of Alexander the Great ; any 
stupendous building is ascribed to Antar ; and Solomon (like Melampus in Greek 
fable) is supposed to have explained the language of animals and birds — a science 
said by Philostratus to have been learnt from the Arabs by Apollonius Tyanaeus (i. 
14). In order to account for the discrepancies in the time when Hercules was sup- 
posed to have lived, the Greeks made out three, the oldest being the Egyptian, and 
the son of Jove, another of Crete, and the youngest was the hero, also a son of 
Jove. Some Latin writers (as Varro) increased the number to forty-three. The 
Cretan Hercules was also related to the god of Egypt ; and the latter, as Moui, was 
intimatelv connected with the funeral rites, and was generally painted black in the 
tombs of Thebes.— [G. W.] 

4 The parentage of the former was Alcaeus, Perseus, Jupiter and Danae, Acrisius, 
Abas, Lynceus (who married a daughter of Danaus), JEgyptUB, the twin-brother of 
Danaus, the son of Belus. Alcmena was daughter of Electryon, the son of Perseus. 
This accords with what Herodotus mentions (ch. 91) of Perseus, Danaus, and 
Lynceus having been natives of Chemmis, and connects them all with the sun. — 
[G. W.] 

6 Herodotus is quite right in saying that these gods were not in the Egyptian 
Pantheon. See note ■ on ch. 60, and note 8 ch. 91. — [G. W.] 

This is the supposed period from Hercules to Amasis ; and 15,000 were reckon- 
ed from Bacchus to Amasis (ch. 145). According to Manetho, the Egyptians be- 
lieved that the gods reigned on earth before men. The first were Vulcan, the Sun, 
Agathodajmon, Chronos (Saturn), Osiris, Typhon (or Seth), Horus (which four last 


there was a temple of Hercules at that place, 7 very highly vene- 
rated. I visitecl the temple, and found it richly adorned with 
a number of offerings, among which were two pillars, one of pure 

are found also in this order in the Turin Papyrus). The royal authority then con- 
tinued through a long succession to Bytis (or Bites), occupying 

Years. Years. 

13,900 years . . 13,900 

Then after the gods reigned neroes 1255 

Other kings 1817 

30 other (?) Memphite kings . . 1790 

lOThinites 350 

Manes and demigods .... 5813 

Sum . . 11,000, or really 11,025 

Total 24,925 

which agrees very nearly with the sum given by Eusebius, from Manetho, of 24,- 
900, from the beginning of the reign of Vulcan to Menes. 

Syncellus, again, on the authority of Manetho, gives the reigns of the gods 
thus : — 

Reigned years. Reduced from 

1. Vulcan . . . 727} 9000 

2. Helios .... 80V 6 " 2 

3. Agathodaemon . 56 7 / 12 .... 700 

4. Chronos 40* 501 

5. Osiris and Isis . . 35 433 

6. Typhon ... 29 359 

7. Horus the demigod .25 309 

994 reduced from . 12,294 


8. Mars the demigod 23 

9. Anubis id. 17 

10. Hercules id. 15 

11. Apollo id. 25 

12. Ammon id. 30 

13. Tithoes id. 27 

14. Zosos id. 32 

15. Jupiter id. 20 

Tears reduced to . . . 189 
from about 2338. 

In this list the relative positions of Osiris (Bacchus) and Hercules do not agree 
with the statement of Herodotus; and in deducting the sums of 12,294 + 680 (to 
the end of Hercules' reign) =12,974 from the total rule of the gods, or 24,925, we 
have 11,951 years; and this added to the 2799 of Manetho's lists, from Menes to 
the end of Amasis, gives 14,750 years, from Hercules, or 15,418 years from Osiris 
to the end of Amasis. But it sufficiently appears from the names in the above list 
that it is not even certain the Egyptians calculated in this manner ; and the Turin 
Papyrus gives, after Horus, Thoth (who seems to have reigned 7226 years), and 
Thmei, and apparently Horus (the younger); after whom seems to come the first 
King Menes ; or a summation of demi-gods, followed by the name of Menes. It is 
however possible that Herodotus was told of some list similar to the one above. See 
Tn. P. K. W., p. 7 to 11.— [G. W.] 

7 The temple of Hercules at Tyre was very ancient, and, according to Herodotus, 
as old as the city itself, or 2300 years before his time, i. e. about 2755 B.C. Her- 
cules presided over it under the title of Melkarth, or Melek-Kartha, "king" (lord) of 
the city. (See note 3 on ch. 32.) Diodorusalso (i. 24) speaks of the antiquity of Her- 
cules; and his antiquity is fully established, in spite of the doubts of Plutarch. (De 
Herod. Mai.) The Phoenicians settled at the Isle of Thasos, on account of its gold 
mines, which they first discovered there (Herod, vi. 46, 47 ; Apollodor. iii. 1), as 



Book II. 

gold, the other of emerald/ shining with great brilliancy at night. 
In a conversation which I held with the priests, I inquired how 

tbey were the first to visit Britain for its tin. Pausanias says the Tbasians being of 
Phoenician origin, coming with Agenor and other Phoenicians from Tyre, dedicated 
a temple to Hercules at Olympia. Tbey worshipped the same Hercules as the Tyr- 
ians (Pausan. v. xxv. § V), and Apollodorus (iii. 1) states that Thasos, son of Pos- 
eidon (Neptune), or, according to Pherccydes, of Cilix, going in quest of Europa, 
founded the Thracian Thasus. Phoenix went to Phoenicia, Cilix to Cilicia, Cadmus 
and Telephus to Thrace. The Melcarthus mentioned by Plutarch (de Is. s. 15) as a 
king of Byblos, and his queen Astarte, were the Hercules and Astarte (Venus) of 
Syria ; the latter called also Saosis and Nemanoun, answering to the Greek name 
Athena'is. The Temple of Hercules is supposed to have stood on the hill close to 
the aqueduct, about 1| mile east of the modern town, which last occupies part of 
insular Tyre taken by Alexander. Tbe temple marks the site of the early city. As 
tbe Temple of Hercules at Tyre was the oldest of that deity in Syria, so that of 
Venus Urania, or Astarte, at Askalon, was the oldest of that goddess. 

In 2 Maccabees iv. 18, 20, mention is made of a great game every fifth year, 
kept at Tyre, with sacrifices to Hercules. The absurdity of connecting the name 
Melicertes with " honey," as in the Gnostic Papyrus, is obvious. (See note 3 on ch. 
83.) The sea deity, Melicertes of Corinth, afterwards called Palaeinon, was only an 
adaptation of a foreign god. The Tyrian Hercules was originally the sun, and the 
same as Baal, " the lord," which, like Melkarth, was only a title. Hercules and 
Venus (Astarte) were really nature deified, one representing the generating, or 
vivifying, and the other the producing principle ; hence the mother goddess. The 
sun was chosen as the emblem of the first, and the earth of the second, or some- 
times the moon, being looked upon as the companion of the sun. This nature sys- 
tem will explain the reason of so many gods having been connected with the sun in 
Egypt and elsewhere ; as Adonis (Adonai, " our Lord ") Mas the sun in the winter 
solstice.— [G. W.] 

8 This pillar is mentioned by Theophrastus (Lap. 23), and Pliny (H. N. xxxvii. 
5). The former expresses an opinion that it was false. 

[It was probably of glass, which is known to have been made in Egypt at least 
3800 years ago, having been found bearing the name of a Pharaoh of the 18th dy- 
nasty. The monuments also of the 4th dynasty show the same glass bottles (see 


long their temple had been built, and found by their answer 
that they too differed from the Greeks. They said that the 
temple was built at the same time that the city was founded, 
and that the foundation of the city took place two thousand 
three hundred years ago. In Tyre I remarked another temple 
where the same god was worshipped as the Thasian Hercules. 
So I went on to Thasos, 9 where I found a temple of Hercules which 
had been built by the Phoenicians who colonised that island 
when they sailed in search of Europa. 1 Even this was five gen- 
woodcut, n. 7 , ch. 77) were used then as in later times, and glass-blowing is repre- 
sented in the paintings from the 12th to the 26th dynasty, and also in those of the 
4th at the tombs near the Pyramids. Various hues were given to glass by the 
Egyptians, and this invention became in after times a great favourite at Rome, 
where it was much sought for ornamental purposes, for bottles and other common 
utensils, and even for windows, one of which was discovered at Pompeii. (Comp. 
Seneca, Ep. 90; de Benef. vii. 9 ; and de Via, iii. 40.) The manufacture appears to 
have been introduced under the Empire. They also cut, ground, and engraved 
glass, and bad even the art of introducing gold between two surfaces of the sub- 
stance ; specimens of all which I have, as well as of false pearls from Thebes, scarce- 
ly to be distinguished from real ones, if buried the same number of years. Pliny 
even speaks of glass being malleable. The glass of Egypt was long famous (Athen. 
xi. p. 784 c), and continued so to the time of the Empire. Strabo (xvi. p. 1077) 
mentions its many colours, and one very perfect kind which could only be made 
with a particular vitreous earth found in that country ; and the ruins of glass fur- 
naces are still seen at the Natron Lakes. Of all stones, says Pliny, the emerald was 
the most easily imitated (xxvii. 12) ; and the colossus of Sarapis in the Egyptian 
Labyrinth, 9 cubits (between 13 and 14 feet) high, and others mentioned by Pliny 
(xxxvii. 5) were doubtless of glass ; like the Ai^tva x VT ^ °f Herodotus (infra, ch. 69. 
See At. Eg. W. vol. iii. p. 88 to 107.) There seems every probability that glass was 
first invented in Egypt ; and fires lighted frequently on the sand in a country pro- 
ducing natron, or subcarbonate of soda, would be more likely to disclose the secret 
than the solitary accident of sailors using blocks of natron for supporting their 
saucepans on the sea-shore of Syria, as stated by Pliny (xxxvi. 65). Pliny's nitrum 
is "natron," and the natron district was called Nitriotis. — G. W.] 

9 Thasos, which still retains its name, is a small island off the Thracian coast, 
opposite to the mouth of the Nestus (Karasu). It seems to have been a very early 
Phoenician settlement (infra, vi. 46-7). 

1 This signifies exploring the " western lands," Europa being Ereb (the Arabic 
gharb), "the west." It is the same word as Erebus, or " darkness ;" and Europa is 
said to be x^P a r V s Sutrews, 3} aKoretur, — Evpwirov, okotzivov. (Hesych. comp. Eur. 
Iph. in Taur. v. 626.) The same word occurs in Hebrew, where 3~i> signifies 
"mixed," or "grey colour," and is applied to the evening, and sun-setting, to the 
raven and to the Arabs ; — " the mingled people (Arabs) that dwell in the desert." 
(Jerem. xxv. 20, 24.) The story of Europa was really Phoenician colonisation, rep- 
resented as a princess, carried to Crete, their first and nearest colony, by Jupiter, 
under the form of a bull, where she became the mother of Minos. Hence Europa is 
called by Homer (II. xiv. 321) a daughter of Phoenix, whom some consider her broth- 
er ; and his voyage to Africa in search of Europa (" the west") points to Phoeni- 
cian colonisation there also. There can be no doubt that the name of the " Arabs " 
was'also given from their living at the westernmost part of Asia; and their own word 
Gharb, the " West," is another form of the original Semitic name Arab. The Arabs 

write the two U^£ Gharb, Vt^ - Arab; and their ghordb, "crow," answers to the 
Hebrew SnV, "raven;" which last is called by them ghordb Nooh, "Noah's crow." 


erations earlier than the time when Hercules, son of Amphi- 
tryon, was born in Greece. These researches show plainly that 
there is an ancient god Hercules ; and my own opinion is, that 
those Greeks act most wisely who build and maintain two tem- 
ples of Hercules, 2 in the one of which the Hercules worshipped 
is known by the name of Olympian, and has sacrifice offered to 
him as an immortal, while in the other the honours paid are 
such as are due to a hero. 

45. The Greeks tell many tales without due investigation, 
and among them the following silly fable respecting Hercules : 
— " Hercules," they say, " went once to Egypt, and there the 
inhabitants took him, and putting a chaplet on his head, led 
him out in solemn procession, intending to offer him a sacrifice 
to Jupiter. For a while he submitted quietly ; but when they 
led him up to the altar, and began the ceremonies, he put forth 
his strength and slew them all." Now to me it seems that such 
a story proves the Greeks to be utterly ignorant of the character 
and customs of the people. The Egyptians do not think it al- 
lowable even to sacrifice cattle, excepting sheep, and the male 
kine and calves, provided they be pure, and also geese. How 
then can it be believed that they would sacrifice men ? 3 And 

The name Arab, " western," may either have been given them by a Semitic people 
who lived more to the East, or even by themselves. The Arabs call the north 
" Shcmdl" or " the left," i. e. looking towards sunrise. The Portuguese title, "Prince 
of the Algarves," is from al Gharb, " the West." The Egyptians called Hades 
" Amenti ;" and the name for the "West," Emcnt, shows the same relationship as 
between Erebus and the West. Again, " Hesperia," the Greek name for Italy, was 
the "West," like the fabled gardens of the Hesperides ; and the Phoenicians, Greeks, 
and others, talked of " the West " as we do of " the East. " The name of Cadmus, 
the Phoenician who gave letters to Greece, is of similar import ; and he is a mythi- 
cal, not a real, personage. His name Kadm signifies the " East," as in Job i. 3, 
where Beni Kudm are " sons of the East," and Cadmus was therefore reputed to be 
a brother of Europa. Kadm, or Kudeem, also signifies "old" in Hebrew, as in 
Arabic ; and the name in this sense too might apply to Cadmus. In Semitic lan- 
guages the East, old, before, to present, to go forward, a foot, &c, are all related. — 
[G. W.] 

2 Later writers made three (Diod. Sic. iv. 39), six (Cic. de Nat. Deor. iii. 16), 
and even a greater number of Herculescs. In Greece, however, temples seem to 
have been erected only to two. (See Pausan. v. xiv. § 7 ; ix. xxvii. § 5, &c.) 

3 Herodotus here denies, with reason, the possibility of a people with laws, and 
a character like those of the Egyptians, having human sacrifices. This very aptly 
refutes the idle tales of some ancient authors, which, to our surprise, have even 
been repeated in modern times. The absurdity of Amosis having been the first to 
abolish them is glaring, since the Egyptians had ages before been sufficiently civil- 
ised to lay aside their arms, and to have institutions incompatible with the tolera- 
tion of a human sacrifice. The figures of captives on the facades of the temples 
slain by the king, often hastily supposed to be human sacrifices, are merely emblem- 
atic representations of his conquests, which therefore occur also on the monuments 
of the Ptolemies. It is possible that in their earliest days they may have had hu- 
man sacrifices, like the Greeks and others ; and the symbolic group meaning a 

Chap. 45-47. PAN. 73 

again, how would it have been possible for Hercules alone, and, 
as they confess, a mere mortal, to destroy so many thousands ? 
In saying thus much concerning these matters, may I incur 
no displeasure either of god or hero ! 

46. I mentioned above that some of the Egyptians abstain 
from sacrificing goats, either male or female. The reason is the 
following : — These Egyptians, who are the Mendesians, consider 
Pan to be one of the eight gods who existed before the twelve, 
and Pan is represented in Egypt by the painters and the sculp- 
tors, just as he is in Greece, with the face and legs of a goat. 4 
They do not, however, believe this to be his shape, or consider 
him in any respect unlike the other gods ; but they represent 
him thus for a reason which I prefer not to relate. The Men- 
desians hold all goats in veneration, but the male more than 
the female, giving the goatherds of the males especial honour. 
One is venerated more highly than all the rest, and when he 
dies there is a great mourning throughout all the Mendesian 
canton. In Egyptian, the goat and Pan are both called Men- 

47. The pig is regarded among them as an unclean animal, 
so much so that if a man in passing accidentally touch a pig, 
he instantly hurries to the river, and plunges in with all his 
clothes on. Hence too the swineherds, notwithstanding that 
they are of pure Egyptian blood, are forbidden to enter into 
any of the temples, which are open to all other Egyptians ; and 
further, no one will give his daughter in marriage to a swineherd, 
or take a wife from among them, so that the swineherds are 
forced to intermarry among themselves. They do not offer 
swine 5 in sacrifice to any of their gods, excepting Bacchus and 

"Victim " (supra, n. 2 on ch. 38) may have been derived from that custom. Some 
notion may be had of the antiquity of Egyptian civilisation, if we recollect the 
period when the Greeks first went about the city unarmed, and how far they had 
advanced before that took place. The Athenians were the first Greeks who did 
this ; and some wore arms even in the time of Thucydides. (Thucyd. i. 5.) It is 
not long since modern Europe discontinued the custom, and the Dalmatian peasants 
are still armed. If Herodotus had submitted every story of Greek ciceroni to his 
own judgment, and had rejected those that were inadmissible, he would have 
avoided giving many false impressions respecting the Egyptians (as in chaps. 46, 
121, 126, 131, and other places). On human sacrifices in old times, see note 9 on 
ch. 119.— [G. W.J 

4 In the original, " with the face of a goat, and the legs of a he-goat," — which 
seems to be a distinction without a difference. No Egyptian god is really represent- 
ed in this way (At. Eg. W. i. p. 260) ; but the goat, according to some Egyptologers, 
was the symbol and representative of Khem, the Pan of the Egyptians. (See Bun- 
sen's Egypt, vol. i. p. 374, and compare notes 7 , °, on ch. 42.) 

5 The pig is rarely represented in the sculptures of Thebes. The flesh was for- 
bidden to the priests, and to all initiated in the mysteries, and it seems only to have 



Book II. 

the Moon, whom they honour in this way at the same time, 
sacrificing pigs to both of them at the same full moon, and 
afterwards eating of the flesh. There is a reason alleged by 
them for their detestation of swine at all other seasons, and 
their use of them at this festival, with which I am well acquaint- 
ed, but which I do not think it proper to mentioD. The follow- 
ing is the mode in which they sacrifice the swine to the Moon : 
— As soon as the victim is slain, the tip of the tail, the spleen, 
and the caul are put together, and having been covered with all 
the fat that has been found in the animal's belly, are straight- 
way burnt. The remainder of the flesh is eaten on the same 
clay that the sacrifice is offered, which is the day of the full 
moon : at any other time they would not so much as taste it. 

been allowed to others once a year at the fete of the full moon, when it was sacri- 
ficed to the Moon. The Moon and Bacchus (supposed to be Isis and Osiris) were the 
only deities to whom it was sacrificed, if we may believe Plutarch, who pretends 
that this ceremony commemorated the finding of the body of Osiris by Typhon, 
when he was hunting by the light of the moon. (De Is. s. 18.) The reason of the 
meat not being eaten was its unwholesomeness, on which account it was forbidden 
to the Jews and Moslems; and the prejudice naturally extended from tho animal to 
those who kept it, as at present in India and other parts of the East, where a Hindoo 
or a Moslem is, like an ancient Egyptian, defiled by the touch of a pig, and looks 
with horror on those who tend it and eat its flesh. On this point a remarkable 
difference existed between the Egyptians and Greeks; and most people would scru- 
ple to give to a swineherd the title "divine" (as Homer does), even though they 
might not feel the same amount of prejudice as the Egyptians. Pigs arc not found 
in the Egyptian sculptures before the time of the 18th dynasty; but this is no 
proof that they were not known in Egypt before that time. — [<i. W.] 

6 Plutarch (de Is. ss. 12 and 36), in speaking of the Paamylia, attributes to Osiris 
what really belongs to the god Khem — the generative principle; and Herodotus 
also evidently alludes to Osiris on this occasion. The reason of this may be that 
the attributes of various gods were not very distinctly explained to foreigners, who 
were taught nothing but what was said to relate to Isis and Osiris, in prhose myste- 
ries several myths were combined, and others added which tended to mystify rather 
than to explain them: for it is evident that the Greeks did not understand the na- 
ture of the Egyptian gods, and many of the events related by them in the history 
of Osiris arc at variance with the monuments of Egypt. Bacchus is certainly the 
god of the Greeks who corresponds to Osiris, and his dying and rising again, his 
being put into a chest and thrown into the sea, and the instructions lie gave to 
mankind, are evidently derived from the story of Osiris ; and the " histories on 

Chap. 48. 



The poorer sort, who cannot afford live pigs, form pigs of dough, 
which they bake and offer in sacrifice. 

48. To Bacchus, on the eve of his feast, every Egyptian 
sacrifices a hog before the door of his house, which is then given 
back to the swineherd by whom it was furnished, and by him 
carried away. In other respects the festival is celebrated almost 
exactly as Bacchic festivals are in Greece, 6 excepting that the 

which the most solemn feasts of Bacchus, the Titania and Nuktelia, are founded, ex- 
actly correspond (as Plutarch says, de Is. s. 35) with what are related of the cutting 
to pieces of Osiris, of his rising again, and of his new life." 

Wreaths and festoons of ivy, or rather of the wild convolvulus, or of the peri- 
ploca secamone, often appear at Egyptian fetes. For ivy is not a plant of the Nile, 
though Plutarch says it was there called chenosiris, or " plant of Osiris " (de Is. s. 
37 ; Diod. i. 17), and the leaves being sometimes represented hairy, are in favour 
of its being the secamone (fig. 4). It may have been chosen from some quality at- 
tributed to its milky juice, like the soma of India, a juice extracted from the ascle- 
pias acida, which plays a divine part in the Vedas, and is in the Zend-Avesta of 
Persia. (See Jour. Americ. Or. Soc. vol. iii. No. 2, p. 299.) 

The thyrsus is shown by Plutarch to be the staff (fig. 1), often bound by a fillet, to 
which the spotted skin of a leopard is suspended near the figure of Osiris ; for it is 

the same that the high priest, clad in the leopard skin dress, carries in the pro- 
cessions (Plut. de Is. s. 35). Another form of it is the head of a water-plant (simi- 
lar to that in fig. 3), to which Atkenaeus (Deipn. v. p. 196) evidently alludes when 
he speaks of some columns having the form of palm-trees, and others of the 

The adoption of the pine-cone to head the spear of Bacchus originated in the 
use of the resinous matter put into wine-skins, and afterwards into amphora? ; but 
the thyrsus was also represented as a spear having its point " concealed in ivy 
leaves:" "Pampineis agitat velatam frondibus hastam." (Ovid, Met. iii. 667 ; comp. 
xi. 27, &c. Diodor. iii. 64. Athen. Deipn. xiv. 631 A.) Thus the poets generally 
describe it, as well as the paintings on Greek vases ; and if the pine-cone was pre- 
ferred for statues of Bacchus, that was probably from its being better suited to 



Book II. 

Egyptians have no choral dances. 7 They also use instead of 
phalli another invention, consisting of images a cubit high, 
pulled by strings, which the women carry round to the villages. 
A piper goes in front, 8 and the women follow, singing hymns 

sculpture. The resemblance of the nebris, and the Semitic name of the leopard, 
nimr, is striking, the car of Bacchus being drawn by leopards ; and Bochart points 
to the analogy between Nebrodes, a title of Bacchus and Nimrod, who is called by 
Philo-Judasus " Nebrod." The pine-cone was adopted by the Arabs as an ornament 
in architecture at an early time, and passed thence to Cashmire shawls and embroid- 
ery.— [G. W.] 

7 The reading x°p<*>v here is preferable to x°' l P wv -> f° r tne Greeks did sacrifice a 
pig at the festivals of Bacchus, as their authors and sculptures show. The rpnTva 
consisted of an ox, a sheep, and a pig, like the Roman suovetaurilia ; and Eusta- 
thius on Horn. Od. xx. 156, says the Ithacans sacrificed three pigs at the feast of the 
new moon. — [G. W.] 

B The instrument used was probably the double-pipe ; but some consider it the 
flute (properly the irAayiavXos, or obliqua tibia), which was also an Egyptian instru- 
ment. It was played by men (fig. 8 ; and woodcut in n. *, ch. 58, figs. 3, 5), but 
the double-pipe more frequently by women (see woodcut No. III. fig. 3.) The lat- 
ter was a very common instrument with the Greeks, and its noisy and droning tones 
are still kept up in the Zumara of modern Egypt. The flute, however, was a com- 
mon instrument in Egypt on sacred occasions (see woodcut in n. *, ch. 58), and one 
or more musical instruments were present at every Egyptian procession. The clap- 
ping of hands and the crotala, the tambourine, and the harp, were also commonly 
introduced on festive occasions, as well as the voice, which sometimes accompanied 
two harps, a single pipe, and a flute ; and when soldiers attended, they had the 
trumpet and drum (woodcut No. II. figs. 1, 2). A greater variety of instruments 

No. II. 

was admitted to private parties ; the harp of four, six, seven, to twenty-two strings , 
the guitar of three ; the lyre of five, seven, ten, and eighteen strings ; the double 
pipe, the flute, the square and the round tambourine, the crotala or wooden clap- 
pers, were very common there ; but cymbals appear to have been mostly used by 
the minstrels of certain deities. The lyres were of very varied sharp tone, and 
they may be supposed to answer to the nabl, sambuc, and " ten "-stringed ashuv 

Chap. 48. 



in honour of Bacchus. They give a religious reason for the pe- 
culiarities of the image. 

of the Jews. The varieties of lyres in Nos. 
IV., V., and VI. may serve to illustrate 
some of the numerous instruments men- 
tioned by Julius Pollux (iv. 9), Athenceus (iv. 
25), and other ancient writers. The sis- 

trum was peculiarly a sacred instrument, 
and it was to the queen and princesses 
that its use was entrusted, or to other la- 
dies of rank who held the important of 



Book II. 

49. Melampus, 9 the son of Amytheon, cannot (I think) have 
been ignorant of this ceremony — nay, he must, I should conceive, 

No. V. 

No. IV. 

fice of accompanying the king or the high priest, while making libations to the 
gods. See above, note 4 on ch. 35, and At. Eg. W. vol. ii. p. 222 to 327 on the 
music and instruments of the Egyptians. — [G. W.] 

No. VI. 

9 Either Melampus, as some maintain, really existed, and travelling into Egypt, 
brought back certain ceremonies into Greece, or he was an imaginary personage ; 


have been well acquainted with it. He it was who introduced 
into Greece the name of Bacchus, the ceremonial of his worship, 
and the procession of the phallus. He did not, however, so com- 
pletely apprehend the whole doctrine as to be able to commu- 
nicate it entirety, but various sages since his time have carried 
out his teaching to greater perfection. Still it is certain that 
Melampus introduced the phallus, and that the Greeks learnt 
from him the ceremonies which they now practise. I therefore 
maintain that Melampus, who was a wise man, and had acquir- 
ed the art of divination, having become acquainted with the 
worship of Bacchus through knowledge derived from Egypt, in- 
troduced it into Greece, with a few slight changes, at the same 
time that he brought in various other practices. For I can by 
no means allow that it is by mere coincidence that the Bacchic 
ceremonies in Greece are so nearly the same as the Egyptian — 
they would then have been more Greek in their character, and 
less recent in their origin. Much less can I admit that the 
Egyptians borrowed these customs, or any other, from the 
Greeks. My belief is that Melampus got his knowledge of them 
from Cadmus the Tyrian, and the followers whom he brought 
from Phoenicia into the country which is now called Bceotia. 1 

and the fable was intended to show that the Greeks borrowed some of their reli- 
gious ceremonies from Egypt. This name " blackfoot " would then have been in- 
vented to show their origin. The name of Egypt, Chemi. signified " black." — 

The settlement of a body of Phoenicians in the country called afterwards 
Bceotia, is regarded by Herodotus as an undoubted fact. (See, besides the present 
passage, v. 57-8, where the Gephyrreans are referred to this migration.) He does 
not, however, seem to have had a very distinct notion as to the course by which 
the strangers reached Greece (compare ii. 44, with iv. 147). Some moderns, as C. 
0. M filler (Orchom. ch. iv. pp. 113-122), Welcker (Ueber eine Kretische Colonie in 
Theben), and Wachsmuth (Antiq. i. 1. § 11), entirely discredit the whole story of a 
Phoenician settlement, which they regard as the invention of a late era. Others, as 
Mr. Grote (Hist, of Greece, vol. ii. p. 357), profess their inability to determine the 
question. But the weight of modern authority is in favour of the truth of the tra- 
dition. (See Niebuhr's Lectures on Ancient History, vol. i. p. 80 ; Thirlwall's Hist, 
of Greece, vol. i. ch. 3, pp. 68-9 ; Kenrick's Phoenicia, pp. 98-100 ; Biihr, note on 
Herod, v. 57, &c.) The principal arguments on this side are the following : — 1. The 
unanimous tradition. 2. The fact that there was a race called Cadmeians at Thebes 
from very early times, claiming a Phoenician descent, combined with the further 
fact, that "Cadraeian" would bear in the Phoenician tongue a meaning unintelligible 
to mere Greeks, but which in the early legend it was certainly intended to have, — 
Cadmus coming in search of Europa being clearly &-:£ JCedem, "the East," seeking 
to discover any Ereb, "the West." 3. The fact that the early worship at Thebes 
was that of Phoenician deities, as the Cabiri (see note 9 on ch. 51), and Minerva 
Onca (Cf. Pausan. ix. xii. § 2, and xxv. § 6 ; JSschyl. S. c. Th. 153 and 496; Eu- 
phorion ap. Steph. Byz. ad voc. 'Oyiccuai ; Hesych. ad voc. "077a, &c). And, 4. The 
occurrence of a number of Semitic words in the provincial dialect of Bceotia, as 
EA/eus for Zeus or the Supreme God (compare Heb. Sn'l Vn " God ") ; fidwa, " woman " 
or "girl" (Heb. n:s u woman" or "daughter"); axd^ (compare the ns* of the 


50. Almost all the names of the gods came into Greece from 
Egypt. 2 My inquiries prove that they were all derived from a 
foreign source, and my opinion is that Egypt furnished the 
greater number. For with the exception of Neptune and the 
Dioscuri, 3 whom I mentioned above, and Juno, Vesta, Themis, 
the Graces, and the Nereids, the other gods have been known 
from time immemorial in Egypt. This I assert on the authority 
of the Egyptians themselves. The gods, with whose names they 
profess themselves unacquainted, the Greeks received, I believe, 
from the Pelasgi, except Neptune. Of him they got their know- 
ledge from the Libyans, 4 by whom he has been always honoured, 
and who were anciently the only people that had a god of the 
name. The Egyptians differ from the Greeks also in paying no 
divine honours to heroes. 5 

Talmud), a measure of capacity which the Persians and Boeotians seem both to have 
adopted from the Phoenicians (cf. Aristoph. Acharn. 108, Hesych. ad voce, axavv 
and axava?, Pollux, x. 164), aida "a pomegranate" (comp. Arabic sidra), &c. 
The name Thebes itself is also tolerably near to ysr? Thebez (Judg. ix. 50), a Ca- 
naanite town, which the LXX. call 07?/3i7?, though this resemblance may be accident- 
al. Bochart, however, identifies the two names, and regards Thebes as so called 
from its " mud," yh> since it was situated in a marsh. (See his Geograph. Sac. Part. 
II. book i. ch. 16.) The cumulative force of these arguments must be allowed to be 
very great. 

2 See below, note 6 on ch. 51. There is no doubt that the Greeks borrowed 
sometimes the names, sometimes the attributes, of their deities from Egypt ; but 
when Herodotus says the names of the Greek gods were always known in Egypt, 
it is evident that he does not mean they were the same as the Greek, since he gives 
in other places (chaps. 42, 59, 138, 144, 156) the Egyptian name to which those 
very gods agree, whom he mentions in Egypt. Neptune, the Dioscuri, the Graces, 
and Nereids, were certainly not Egyptian deities; but Juno was Sate, Vesta Anouke, 
and Themis was not only an Egyptian goddess, but her name was taken from Thmei, 
the Egyptian goddess of " Justice " or " Truth ;" from which the Hebrew derived 
the word Thummim, translated in the Septuagint by dATJdeia. The name Nereids 
was evidently borrowed from the idea of "water;" and though the word is only 
traced in vnpbs, "moist," in Nereus, the Nereids, uapbs, " liquid," and some other 
words in ancient Greek, it has been retained to the present day, through some old 
provincialism, and vepov, or ueppb, still signifies "water" in the Romaic of modern 
Greece. Comp. the Indian name for "water," and the divine spirit, Narayan (a), 
i. e. " floating on the waters " at the beginning of time in Hindoo mythology ; also 
the JSTevbudda, &c, and nahr, " river," in Arabic. One of the Greek Vuloans men- 
tioned by Cicero (de Nat. Deor. iii. 22) " was the Egyptian Phthas ;" one sun was 
the god of Heliopolis (ibid. 21), and other deities were from the same Pantheon. 
_[G. W.] 

3 Comp. the tw T o deities Acvin, having no particular names, but called simply 
Acvinau, " the two horsemen," found in the Vedas of India and in the Zend-Avesta. 
(Jour. Americ. Or. Soc. vol. iii. No. 2, p. 322.)— [G. W.] 

4 Cf. iv. 188^ 

6 Herodotus is quite correct in saying the Egyptians paid no divine honours to 
heroes, and their creed would not accord with all the second and third lines of the 
Golden Verses of Pythagoras : 

'ASavaTovs yuei> Trpwra Seovs v6ixw ws Sia/ceivTcu 
Ti/xcf ical crifiov opKov sttsit "Hpwas ayavovs, 
Tovs re KaTax&ovious o"e)3e Saifxovas, twofxa {>4(wv. 


51. Besides these which have been here mentioned, there 
are many other practices whereof I shall speak hereafter, which 
the Greeks have borrowed from Egypt. 6 The peculiarity, how- 
No Egyptian god was supposed to have lived on earth as a mere man afterwards 
deified (infra, n. 9 , ch. 143) ; and the tradition of Osiris having lived on earth im- 
plied that he was a manifestation or Avatar of the Deity — not a real being, but the 
abstract idea of goodness (like the Indian Booddha). The religion of the Egyptians 
was the worship of the Deity in all his attributes, and in those things which were 
thought to partake of his essence ; but they did not transfer a mortal man to his 
place, though they allowed a king to pay divine honours to a deceased predecessor, 
or even to himself, his human doing homage to his divine nature. The divine being 
was like the Divus Imperator of the Romans ; and a respect was felt for him when 
good, which made them sacrifice all their dearest interests for his service : he was 
far above all mortals, as the head of the religion and the state ; and his funeral was 
celebrated with unusual ceremonies. (Diodor. i. 71. 72). But, this was not divine 
worship. They did however commit the error of assigning to emblems a degree of 
veneration, as representatives of deities, which led to gross superstition, as types 
and relics have often done; and though the Moslems forbid all "partnership" with 
the Deity in adoration, even they cannot always prevent a bigoted veneration for a 
saint, or for the supposed footstep of "the Prophet." — [G. W.] 

6 We cannot too much admire the candour of Herodotus in admitting that the 
Greeks borrowed from the Egyptians, and others who preceded them ; for, as Bacon 
justly observes, " the writings that relate these fables, being not delivered as inven- 
tions of the writers, but as things before believed and received, appear like a soft 
whisper from the traditions of more ancient nations, conveyed through the flutes of 
the Grecians." 

Diodorus (i. 96) makes the same remark, and affirms that " Orpheus introduced 
from Egypt the greatest part of his mythical ceremonies, the orgies that celebrate 
the wanderings of Ceres, and the whole fable of the shades below. The rites of 
Osiris and Bacchus were the same ; the punishment of the wicked, the Elysian 
Fields, and all the common fictions, were copied from the Egyptian funerals ;" and 
he says the same of the Acherusian lake, Charon, Styx, and " many other things 
mentioned in fable." Herodotus expressly gives it as his opinion that nearly all 
the names of the gods were derived from Egypt, and shows that their ceremonies 
(chaps. 81, 82) and science come from the same source. This is also stated by 
many ancient writers. Lucian (de Dea Syr.) says " the Egyptians are reputed 
the first men who had a notion of the gods and a knowledge of sacred affairs, . . . 
and sacred names." The same is mentioned by the oracle of Apollo quoted by 
Eusebius. Comp. Iamblichus (de Myst. s. 7, ch. v.), and others. Aristotle (de 
Coelo, ii. 12) shows the obligations of the Greeks to the Egyptians and Babylonians 
for information respecting all the heavenly bodies ; and these two people are men- 
tioned by Cicero (de Div. i. 42), Pliny (vii. 56), and others as the great and earliest 
astronomers. Herodotus (supra, ch. 4) ascribes to the Egyptians the invention of 
the year, as well as geometry ; and Macrobius says that Caesar was indebted to 
Egypt for his correction of the calendar : " Nam Julius Caesar .... siderum motus 
.... ab ^Egyptiis disciplinis hausit." (Saturn, i. 18.) Strabo (xvi. p. 1076; xvii. 
p. 1118) ascribes astronomy and arithmetic to the Sidonians, and the origin of them 
to night sailing and reckonings at sea, as geology to the Egyptians, from which two 
people they went to Greece ; and Pliny (v. 12) says the Phoenicians invented letters, 
astronomy, and naval and warlike arts. (Comp. Pomp. Mela, i. 12.) Diodorus (i. 
98) states " that Pythagoras learnt holy lore, geometry, the science of numbers, 
and the transmigration of souls into animals from Egypt . . . and (Enopides derived 
the obliquity of the sun's path from the priests and astronomers there." (Comp. 
Plut. PI. Ph. iii. 13. See note on ch. 109, in App. ch. vii.) Diodorus (i. 81, and 
28) even thinks " the Chaldaeans obtained their knowledge of astrology (astronomy) 
from the priests of Egypt;" but, on the other hand, Josephus states that "it went 
from the Chaldaeans to Egypt, whence it proceeded to Greece." (See n. 9 , ch. 123, 
and App. ch. vii.) — [G. W.] 

Vol. II.— 6 


ever, which they observe in their statues of Mercury they did 
not derive from the Egyptians, hut from the Pelasgi ; from them 
the Athenians first adopted it, and afterwards it passed from the 
Athenians to the other Greeks. For just at the time when the 
Athenians were entering into the Hellenic body, 7 the Pelasgi 
came to live with them in their country, 8 whence it was that 
the latter came first to be regarded as Greeks. Whoever has 
been initiated into the mysteries of the Cabiri 9 will understand 
what I mean. The Samothracians received these mysteries from 
the Pelasgi, who, before they went to live in Attica, were dwell- 
ers in Samothrace, and imparted their religious ceremonies to 
the inhabitants. The Athenians, then, who were the first of all 

7 Vide supra, i. 57, and 58, note b . 

8 The Pelasgi here intended are the Tyrrhenian Pelasgi, who are mentioned 
again, iv. 145, and vi. 138. (See Thucyd. iv. 109 ; and cp. Ap. to B. vi.) 

9 Nothing is known for certain respecting the Cabiri. Most authorities agree 
that they varied in number, and that their worship, which was very ancient in Sa- 
mothrace and in Phrygia, was carried to Greece from the former by the Pelasgi. 
Some believe them to have been Ceres, Proserpine, and Pluto ; and others add a 
fourth, supposed to be Hermes ; while others suppose them to have been Jupiter, 
Pallas, and Hermes. They were also worshipped at an early time in Lemnos and 
Imbros. Some think they were an inferior order of gods, but were probably in 
the same manner as the third order of gods in Egypt, who in one capacity ranked 
even above the great gods. The name Cabiri was doubtless derived from the 
Semitic word kabir, "great," a title applied to Astarte (Venus), who was also wor- 
shipped in Samothrace, together with Pothos and Phaeton, in the most holy ceremo- 
nies, as Pliny says (xxxvi. 5). The eight great gods of the Phoenicians, the off- 
spring of one great father, Sydik, the "just," were called Cabiri, of whom Esmoun 
was the youngest, or the eighth (as his name implies), the shmoun, " eight," of Cop- 
tic, and the " theman" or "soman" ijV-4-5 °f Arabic, and r\VCy of Hebrew. 
This Esmoun was also called Asclepius. Damascius says, "On 6 4v B-npvTw <p-q<jlv 
'AaKArimbs ui>K iariu"EA\t]v ou5e Aiyvwrios aWa ris eVj^wpjos $6lvi£. ^advKCf yap 
iyevovro iraides ovs Ato<TKOVpovs ep/j.r]V€vovai kcli Kafieipovs. Outos KaAAiaTos &v &4ay 
/cat yecwias I8e?v a^iayaaros, epoop.evo's yeyoveu, ws <pt)aiv 6 /jlv&os, *AcrTpov6r)s &eov 
&ou>i(T(rr}'>, fXT}Tpbs &€u)V. Eloodcos Te Kvvr)yi:Te7v eV Ta?<r5e tcws vairai<: iireiSr) tdeaa'aTo 
rrjv &tbv avrbv iKKvi/rjy^Tovaau ical (pevyovra i-jriSictiKovcrau kcl\ ^877 KUTa\7)\po/J.(vriv, 
a-TroTe'/Uvei 7reAe'/cei ry)v avrbs avrou iraidoanopov <pu<riv. 'H Se tw ira&ti TrepiaAyhaaaa 
K<xl Ylcuwva KaKiffaaa rbv vtavivKOv ry re ^woyovca dep/J-y avafairvprfcraaa ibebv iiroirjareVy 
"Eap-ovvov uirb $oii/iKwv uvojxaaixivov inl ttj &€p/xr) ttjs farjs. Oi Se rbi> "Ecr/xovvoy 
oySoov a^iovaiy kp/xTiveveiv, on 07800s i)u tw 2a8oKa> 7ra?s. Damascii Vit. Isidori (a 
Photio Excerpt.), 302. This mention of Esmoun with Palestine reminds us of the 
account in the Bible that the Philistines came of an Egyptian stock. Ashmoun 
would thus be made a son of Mizraim (comp. Sanchoniatho), as in Aral) tradition. 
Herodotus mentions the Egyptian Cabiri at Memphis (iii. 37), whose temple no one 
was permitted to enter except the priest alone: they were said to be sons of Vulcan 
or Phtha (as the Egyptian Asclepius called Emeph, or Aimothph, also was), and, 
like that god in one of his characters, were represented as pygmy figures. It is not 
impossible that the Cabiri in Egypt were figured as the god Phtha-Sokar-Osiris, who 
was a deity of Hades; and the three names he had agree with the supposed number 
of the Cabiri of Samothrace. The number 8 might also be thought to accord with 
that of the eight great gods of Egypt. (See my note on B. iii. ch. 37.) Oshmounaj/n, 
the Coptic and modern name of Hermopolis in Egypt, signifying the "two eights," 
was connected with the title of Thoth or Hermes, " lord of the eight regions." — 
|G. W.] 

Chap. 52, 53. FROM THE PELASGI. 33 

the Greeks to make their statues of Mercury in this way, learnt 
the practice from the Pelasgians ; and by this people a religious 
account of the matter is given, which is explained in the Samo- 
thracian mysteries. 

52. In early times the Pelasgi, as I know by information 
which I got at Dodona, offered sacrifices of all kinds, and prayed 
to the gods, but had no distinct names or appellations for tbem, 
since they had never heard of any. They called them gods ($eot, 
disposers), because they had disposed and arranged all things in 
such a beautiful order. 1 After a long lapse of time the names 
of the gods came to Greece from Egypt, and the Pelasgi learnt 
them, only as yet they knew nothing of Bacchus, of whom they 
first heard at a much later date. Not long after the arrival of 
the names they sent to consult the oracle at Dodona about them. 
This is the most ancient oracle in Greece, and at that time 
there was no other. To their question, " Whether they should 
adopt the names that had been imported from the foreigners ? " 
the oracle replied by recommending their use. Thenceforth in 
their sacrifices the Pelasgi made use of the names of the gods, 
and from them the names passed afterwards to the Greeks. 

53. Whence the gods severally sprang, whether or no they 
had all existed from eternity, what forms they bore — these are 
questions of which the Greeks knew nothing until the other day, 
so to speak. For Homer and Hesiod were the first to compose 
Theogonies, and give the gods their epithets, to allot them their 

1 The same derivation is given by Eustathius (ad Horn. II. p. 1148-51), and by 
Clement of Alexandria (Strom, i. 29, p. 427), but the more general belief of the 
Greeks derived the word &ebs from &e?f, " currere," because the gods first wor- 
shipped were the sun, moon, and stars. (See Plat. Cratyl. p. 397, C. D. Etym. 
Magn. ad voc. &ebv, Clemens. Alex. Cohort, ad Gent. p. 22, Strom, iv. 23, p. 633.) 
Both these derivations are purely fanciful, having reference to the Greek language 
only, whereas &tbs is a form of a very ancient word common to a number of the 
Indo-European tongues, and not to be explained from any one of them singly. The 
earliest form of the word would seem to be the Doric and JEolic 28evs, afterwards 
written Zeu?. This, by omission of the a, became Sans. Dyaus and deva, Gk. &ev<s, Ai6s, 
and Sjos, Lat. Deus and dimes, Lithuanian dieivas, &c. ©eds is a mere softened form 
of Aeus or deus, analogous to i|/€i)Sos, \J>v&os; &aa>, Sanscr. dhe; bdpaoo, dare ; &€pw, 
dry ; Svpa, door ; &c. With the words Zei/s and deos we may connect the old Ger- 
man god Zio, or Tins, whose name under the latter of the forms appears in our 
word Tuesday. Sanscrit scholars trace these many modifications of a single word 
to an old root div, which they tell us means " to shine," and Dyaus, the first sub- 
stantive formed from this verb, meant " light," or " the shining sun," one of the 
earliest objects of worship in most countries. Deva is a later formation from div, 
and has a more abstract sense than dyaus, being " bright, brilliant, divine," and 
thence passing on to the mere idea of God. 0ebs in Greek, and Deus in Latin, are 
the exact equivalents of this term. (See Professor Max Muller's article on Com- 
parative Philology in the Edinburgh Review, No. 192, Art. 1. pp. 334-8.) 

The statement of Herodotus that the Pelasgi " called the gods &eoi, because 
they had disposed and arranged all things in such a beautiful order," shows that he 
considered them to have spoken a language nearly akin to the Greek. 


several offices and occupations, and describe their forms ; and 
they lived but four hundred years before my time, 2 as I believe. 
As for the poets, who are thought by some to be earlier than 
these, 3 they are, in my judgment, decidedly later writers. In 
these matters I have the authority of the priestesses of Dodona 
for the former portion of my statements ; what I have said of 
Homer and Hesiod is my own opinion. 

54. The following tale is commonly told in Egypt concern- 
ing the oracle of Dodona in Greece, and that of Ammon in Lib- 
ya. My informants on the point were the priests of Jupiter at 
Thebes. They said " that two of the sacred women were once 
carried off from Thebes by the Phoenicians, 4 and that the story went 
that one of them was sold into Libya, and the other into Greece, 
and these women were the first founders of the oracles in the 
two countries/' On my inquiring how they came to know so 
exactly what became of the women, they answered, " that dil- 
igent search had been made after them at the time, but that it 
had not been found possible to discover where they were ; after- 
wards, however, they received the information which they had 
given me." 

55. This was what I heard from the priests at Thebes ; at 
Dodona, however, the women who deliver the oracles relate the 
matter as follows : — " Two black doves flew away from Egyptian 

2 The date of Homer has been variously stated. It is plain from the expressions 
which Herodotus here uses that in his time the general belief assigned to Homer 
an earlier date than that which he considered the true one. His date would place 
the poet about b. c. 880-830, which is very nearly the mean between the earliest 
and the latest epochs that are assigned to him. The earliest date that can be ex- 
actly determined, is that of the author of the life of Homer usually published with 
the works of Herodotus, who places the birth of the poet 622 years before the 
invasion of Xerxes, or B.C. 1102. The latest is that of Theopompus and Euphorion, 
which makes him contemporary with Gyges — therefore b. c. 724-686. (For further 
particulars, see Clinton's F. H. vol. i. pp. 145-7 , and Ap. p. 359.) Probability is on 
the whole in favour of a date considerably earlier than that assigned by our author. 

The time of Hesiod is even more doubtful, if possible, than that of his brother- 
poet. He was made before Homer, after him, and contemporary with him. In- 
ternal evidence and the weight of authority are in favour of the view which assigns 
him a comparatively late date. (See Clinton, i. p. 359, n. °.) He is probably to be 
placed at least 200 or 300 years after Homer. 

3 The "poets thought by some to be earlier than Homer and Hesiod " are pro- 
bably the mystic writers, Olen, Linus, Orpheus, Musreus, Pamphos, Olympus, &c, 
who were generally accounted by the Greeks anterior to Homer (Clinton, i. pp. 
341-4), but seem really to have belonged to a later age. (See Grote, vol. ii. p. 

4 See the next note. This carrying off priestesses fi om Thebes is of course a 
fable. It may refer to the sending out and establishing an oracle in the newlv-dis- 
covered West (Europe) through the Phoenicians, the merchants and explorers of 
those days, who were in alliance with Egypt, supplied it with many of the pro- 
ductions it required from other countries, and enabled it to export its manufactures 
in their ships. — [G. W.] 


Thebes, and while one directed its flight to Libya, the other 
came to them. 5 She alighted on an oak, and sitting there began 
to speak with a human voice, and told them that on the spot 
where she was, there should thenceforth be an oracle of Jove. 
They understood the announcement to be from heaven, so they 
set to work at once and erected the shrine. The dove which 
flew to Libya bade the Libyans to establish there the oracle of 
Amnion." This likewise is an oracle of Jupiter. The persons 
from whom I received these particulars were three priestesses of 
the Dodonaeans, 6 the eldest Promeneia, the next Timarete, and 
the youngest Nicandra — what they said was confirmed by the 
other Dodonaeans who dwell around the temple. 7 

56. My own opinion of these matters is as follows : — I think 
that, if it be true that the Phoenicians carried off the holy women, 
and sold them for slaves, 8 the one into Libya and the other into 
Greece, or Pelasgia (as it was then called), this last must have 
been sold to the Thesprotians. Afterwards, while undergoing 
servitude in those parts, she built under a real oak a temple to 
Jupiter, her thoughts in her new abode reverting — as it was 
likely they would do, if she had been an attendant in a temple 

5 The two doves appear to connect this tradition with the Phoenician Astarte, 
who appears to be the Baaltis or Dione of Byblus. If the rites of Dodona were 
from Egypt, they were not necessarily introduced by any individual from that coun- 
try. The idea of women giving out oracles is Greek, not Egyptian. — [G. W.] 

6 Were it not for the tradition of the priestesses that Dodona was indebted to 
Egypt for its oracle, we should at once discredit what appears so very improbable ; 
but the Greeks would scarcely have attributed its origin to a foreigner, unless there 
had been some foundation for the story ; and Herodotus maintains that there was a 
resemblance between the oracles of Thebes and Dodona. It is not necessary that 
the stamp of a foreign character should have been strongly impressed at Dodona ; 
and the influence of the oracle would have been equally great without the employ- 
ment of a written language, or any reference to particular religious doctrines with 
which those who consulted the oracles of Amun, Delphi, and other places did not 
occupy themselves. — [G. W.] 

7 The Temple of Dodona was destroyed b. c. 219 by Dorimachus when, being 
chosen general of the JEtolians, he ravaged Epirus. (Polyb. iv. 67.) No remains 
of it now exist. It stood at the base of Mount Tomarus, or Tmarus (Strabo, vii. p. 
476 ; Plin. ii. 103), on the borders of Thesprotia, and was said to have been founded 
by Deucalion. The name Timarete is here given by Herodotus to one of the 
priestesses. Strabo says the oracles were given out by a class of priests, called Selli 
(the Helli, according to Pindar), who were remarkable for their austere mode of life, 
and thought to honour the Deity by a bigoted affectation of discomfort, and by ab- 
juring cleanliness; whence Homer says, II. xvi. 233 — 

Zev &va, A&'Scoj/aTe, TleAaayiKe, T7}Ao&i va'ioov 
AwSwvrj? yUeSeajj/ 8vax €l l uL *P 0V ' o^t Se 2e\Aot 
2ol vaiova virotprjTai at/nrTOTrodes, x a M- ai6 ^ vaL ' 

— in which impure piety they were very unlike the cleanly priests of Egypt. The 
sacred oaks of Dodona call to mind those of the Druids. The <priybs is not the 
beech, but an oak, so called from its acorn, which was oaten. — [G. W.] 

8 Comp. Joel iii. 6, where the Tyrians are said to have sold Jewish children " to 
the Grecians." (Beni-Ionim.) — [G. W.] 



Book II 

of Jupiter at Thebes — to that particular god. Then, having 
acquired a knowledge of the Greek tongue, she set up an 
oracle. She also mentioned that her sister had been sold for a 
slave into Libya by the same persons as herself. 

57. The Dodonaeans called the women doves because they 
were foreigners, and seemed to them to make a noise like birds. 
After a while the dove spoke with a human voice, because the 
woman, whose foreign talk had previously sounded to them like 
the chattering of a bird, acquired the power of speaking what 
they could understand. For how can it be conceived possible 
that a dove should really speak with the voice of a man ? 
Lastly, by calling the clove black the Dodonaeans indicated that 
the woman was an Egyptian. And certainly the character of 
the oracles at Thebes and Dodona is very similar. Besides this 
form of divination, the Greeks learnt also divination by means 
of victims from the Egyptians. 

58. The Egyptians were also the first to introduce solemn 
assemblies, 9 processions, and litanies 1 to the gods ; of all which 

9 " Solemn assemblies " were numerous in Egypt, and were of various kinds. 
The grand assemblies, or great panegyries, were held in the large halls of the prin- 
cipal temples, and the king presided at them in person. Their celebration was ap- 
parently yearly, regulated by the Sothic, or by the vague year ; and others at the 
new moons, when they were continued for several successive days, and again at the 
full moon. There were inferior panegyries in honour of different deities every day 
during certain months. Some great panegyries seem to have been held after very 
long periods. Many other ceremonies also took place, at which the king presided ; 

the greatest of which 
was the procession of 
shrines of the gods, 
which is mentioned 
in the Rosetta Stone, 
and is often repre- 
sented in the sculp- 
tures. These shrines 
were of two kinds: 
one was an ark, or 
sacred boat, which 
may be called the 
great shrine, the 
other a sort of can- 
opy. They were at- 
tended by the chief 
priest, or prophet, 
clad in the leopard 
skin ; they were borne 
on the shoulders of 
several priests, by 
means of staves sometimes passing through metal rings at the side, and being 
taken into the temple, were placed on a table or stand prepared for the purpose. 
The same mode of carrying the ark was adopted by the Jews (Joshua iii. 12; 1 Chron. 
xv. 2, and 15 ; 2 Sam. xv. 24 ; 1 Esdr. i. 4) ; and the gods of Babylon, as well as of 
Egypt, were borne and " set in their place " in a similar manner. (Is. xlvi. 7 ; 

No. 1. 

Chap. 57-59. 



the Greeks were taught the use by them. It seems to me a 
sufficient proof of this, that in Egypt these practices have been 
established from remote antiquity, while in Greece they are only 
recently known. 

59. The Egyptians do not hold a single solemn assembly, 
but several in the course of the year. Of these the chief, which 

Baruch, vi. 4, and 26.) Apuleius (Met. xi. 250) describes the sacred boat and the high 
priest holding in his hand a lighted torch, an egg, and sulphur, after which the 
(sacred) scribe read from a papyrus certain prayers, in presence of the assembled 
pastopkori, or members of the Sacred College ; which agrees well with the ceremony 
described on the monuments. 

Some of the sacred boats or arks contained the emblems of life and stability, 
which, when the veil was drawn aside, were partially seen ; and others contained 
the sacred beetle of the sun, overshadowed by the wings of two figures of the god- 
dess Thmei, or " Truth," which call to mind the cherubim (kerubim) of the Jews. The 
shrines of some deities 

them had a ram's head 
at the prow and stern of 
the boat ; and that of 
Pthah-Sokar-Osiris was 
marked by its singular 
form, the centre having 
the head of the hawk, 
his emblem, rising from 
it in a shroud, and the 
prow terminating in that 
of an oryx. It was car- 
ried in the same manner 
by several pi'iests. The 
god Horus, the origin of 
the Greek Charon, is the 
steersman par excellence 
of the sacred boats, as 
Vishnu is of the Indian 
ark. (See my note on 
Pthah-Sokar-Osiris, in B. 
iii. ch. 37, and on the 
ark of Isis, see note 6 on 
ch. 61.) 

The Niloa, or Festival 
of the inundation ; the 
harvest ; the fetes in hon- 
our of the gods ; the 

royal birthdays; and other annual as well as monthly festivals, were celebrated 
with great splendour; and the procession to the temples, when the dedicatory 
offerings were presented by the king, or by the high priest, the public holidays, the 
new moons, and numerous occasional fetes, kept throughout the year, as well as 
the many assemblies successively held in different cities throughout the country, 
fully justified the remark that the Egyptians paid greater attention to divine mat- 
ters than any other people. And these, as Herodotus observes, had been already 
established long before any similar custom existed in Greece. — [G. W\] 

1 The mode of approaching the deity and the ceremonies performed in the 
solemn processions varied in Egypt, as in Greece (Procl. Chrestomath. p. 381, Gd.), 
whore persons sometimes sang hymns to the sound of the lyre, sometimes to the 
flute, and with dances. These last were the irpoaoSia, which, as well as the former 

NO. II. 



Book II. 

is better attended than any other, is held at the city of Bubas- 
tis 2 in honour of Diana. 3 The next in importance is that which 

(see woodcut 1 in ch. 48), are represented on the monuments of Egypt. Sometimes 
the harp, guitar, and flutes, were played while the high priest offered incense to 
the gods. The song of the Egyptian priests was called in their language Paean 

1 4 5 

(Clem. Psedagog. iii. 2), which is evidently an Egyptian word, having the article 
Pi prefixed.— [G. W.] 

2 Bubastis, or Pasht, corresponded to the Greek Diana. At the Speos ^ g 

Artemidos (near Beni Hassan) she is represented as a lioness with her /m|£ 

name " Psht, the lady of the cave." At Thebes she has also the head of a ^f 

lioness, with the name Pasht, thus written 


At Bubastis the name of the chief goddess whose figure remains appears to read 
Buto, and is thus written ^ WB ; and here she may have the character of Buto or 

Latona. They both have the same head, though it is difficult to distinguish between 
that of the lioness and the cat. It is indeed probable that both these animals were 
sacred to and emblems of Pasht. The notion of the cat being an emblem of the 
moon was doubtless owing to the Greeks supposing Bubastis the same as Diana, 
but the moon in Egypt was a male deity, the Ibis-headed Thoth ; and another mis- 
take was their considering the Egyptian Diana the sister of Apollo. Remains of 
the temple and city of Bubastis, the "Pibeseth" (Pi-basth) of Ezekiel, xxx. 17, are 
still seen at Tel Basta, "the mounds of Pasht,' 1 so called from its lofty mounds. 
(See below, n. 6 , ch. 138.) At the Speos Artemidos numerous cat mummies were 
buried, from their being sacred to the Egyptian Diana. — [G. W.] 

8 Herodotus (infra, ch. 156) supposes her the daughter of Bacchus (Osiris) and 


takes place at Busiris, a city situated in the very middle of the 
Delta ; it is in honour of Isis, who is called in the Greek tongue 
Demeter (Ceres). There is a third great festival in Sais to Mi- 
nerva, a fourth in Heliopolis to the Sun, a fifth in Buto 4 to La- 
tona, and a sixth in Papremis to Mars. 

60. The following are the proceedings on occasion of the 
assembly at Bubastis : — Men and women come sailing all to- 
gether, vast numbers in each boat, many of the women with 
castanets, which they strike, while some of the men pipe during 
the whole time of the voyage ; the remainder of the voyagers, 
male and female, sing the while, and make a clapping with their 
hands. When they arrive opposite any of the towns upon the 
banks of the stream, they approach the shore, and, while some 
of the women continue to play and sing, others call aloud to the 
females of the place and load them with abuse, while a certain 
number dance, and some standing up uncover themselves. After 
proceeding in this way all along the river-course, they reach 
Bubastis, where they celebrate the feast with abundant sacrifices. 
More grape-wine 3 is consumed at this festival than in all the 
rest of the year besides. The number of those who attend, 
counting only the men and women and omitting the children, 

Isis, which is, of course, an error, as Osiris had no daughter, and the only mode of 
accounting for it is by supposing Horus, the son of Osiris, to have been mistaken 
for the sun, the Apollo of the Greeks, whose sister Diana was reputed to be. The 
goddess Bubastis, or Pasht, is called on the monuments " beloved of Pthah," whom 
she generally accompanies, and she is the second member of the great triad of Mem- 
phis. Bubastis, the city, was only the Egyptian name Pasht, with the article ni 
prefixed, as in the Hebrew Pi-basth ; and the change of P into B was owing to the 
former being pronounced B, as in modern Coptic. — [G. W.] 

4 Vide infra, note 3 on ch. 155. The goddess mentioned at Bubastis should be 
Buto ; as her name occurs there, and so frequently about the pyramids, which were 
in the neighbourhood of Letopolis, another city of Buto, or Latona. The city of 
Buto Herodotus here speaks of stood between the Sebennytic and Bolbitine branches, 
near the Lake of Buto, now Lake Boorlos. The Sebennytic branch appears here 
to have been divided into several channels, as one of them passed, according to 
Herodotus and Ptolemy, near to Buto, which was at no great distance from the 
Canopic branch, where it separated from the Bolbitine. (See Kennell. ii. p. 168.) — 

5 This is to be distinguished from beer, divot Kpi&ivos, "barley-wine," both 
of which were made in great quantities in Egypt. The most noted were those of 
Mareotis, Anthylla, Plinthine, Coptos, and the Teniotic, Sebennytic, and Alexan- 
drian ; and many were noticed in the offerings made in the tombs and temples of 
Egypt. Among them wine of the "Northern Country" is mentioned, and that long 
before the Greeks carried wine to Egypt. In later times, when the prejudices of 
the Egyptians had begun to relax, a trade was established with the Greeks, and 
Egypt received wine from Greece and Phoenicia twice every year (Herod, iii. 6), 
and .many Greeks carried it direct to Naucratis. (See note 3 on ch. 18 and note 6 
on 37 ; and on beer, n. *, ch. 77. On the wines of Egypt, see At. Eg. W. vol. ii. p. 
158 to 170.) The wine-presses and offerings of wine in the tombs at the Pyramids 
show wine was made in Egypt at least as early as the 4th dynasty. — [G. W.] 


amounts, according to the native reports, to seven hundred thou- 

61. The ceremonies at the feast of Isis in the city of Busiris 6 

6 There were several places called Busiris in Egypt (Diod. i. 17 ; i. 88 ; Plin. 
v. 10; and xxxvi. 12.) It signifies the burial-place of Osiris, and therefore corre- 
sponds in meaning to Taposiris, a Greek name given to another town on the sea- 
coast to the W. of Alexandria. Many places claim the honour of having the body 
of Osiris, the chief of which were Memphis, Busiris, Philae, Taposiris, and Abydus 
(Plut. de Is. s. 21). The Busiris mentioned by Herodotus stood a little to the S. of 
Sebennytus and the modern Abooseer, the Coptic Basiri, of which nothing now re- 
mains but some granite blocks since used as the thresholds of doors, and a few 
stones, one of which is of very early time. This is a sepulchral monument, proba- 
bly of the time of the 4th dynasty, which has the funereal eye on each side. There 
was also a Busiris near the pyramids, which gave its name to the modern Aboosir, 
near which the burial-place of Apis, called Apis-Osiris, has lately been discovered. 
The city of Isis was lower down the river, and it is more probable that the fete of 
Isis was held there than at Busiris. It is now called Bebdyt, and its site is marked 
by the ruins of a granite temple, the only one, except that at Bubastis, entirely 
built of that beautiful and costly material, which was doubtless thought worthy to 
succeed " the very large temple to Isis " mentioned by Herodotus — for it was built 
during the reign of the Ptolemies. It was formerly called Iseum, and by the ancient 
Egyptians Ilebai, or Hebait, of which Isis is always called in the sculp- 
tures " the Mistress." Hebai signified a " panegyry," or assembly, and '*■*• 
this was the real meaning of the name of the place. Osiris is also some- B 
times called in the legends there, " Lord of the land of Hebai." There 9 
was another ancient town, in Middle Egypt, apparently consecrated to w "*v 
Isis, the ruins of which are now called Haybee. On a wall at Bebdyt, \ 

probably once part of the Sekos, is a remarkable bas-relief of the ark of ^ ^ 
Isis, in the centre of which the goddess sits on a lotus-flower, a female 
standing on either side with outstretched wings ; below the same three 
are kneeling, and under this are the goddess or Genius Mert or Milt, 
with the usual four kneeling figures (one with the head of a man and p\ 

three with jackals 1 -heads) beating themselves, illustrating what Herodotus ^ v 
says in ch. 40. This was done in honour of Osiris, whose death was la- 
mented, as that of Adonis (Adoni; cp. Judg. i. 5 ; Josh. x. 1) by the Syrians, allu- 
ded to in Ezekiel (viii. 14) : — " There sat women weeping for Tammuz." This last 
name, meaning, "concealed," may be related to the Atmoo of Egypt, who answers 
to "Sol Infcrus ;" and the mention (in Ezek. viii. 16) of men worshipping "the 
Sun" (though it should have been the West, rather than towards "the East") 
seems to confirm this. (See notes 7 and 3 on chaps. 85 and 171.) The temple of 
Bebayt is now so completely destroyed that it is difficult to ascertain its exact plan ; 
the stones are thrown together in the greatest confusion, and a man can go down 
beneath them to the depth of 12 to 15 feet. None seem to be in their original 
places, though some of the doorways can be traced; and fragments of cornices, 
and ceilings with the usual white stars on a blue ground, lie in a mass heaped one 
on the other. The force and labour employed in its destruction must have been 
very great. All the remaining sculptures are of the time of Ptolemy Philadelphus, 
and it is probable that the temple was rebuilt in his reign of those unusaal materials, 
which would have justified the remark applied by Herodotus to that of Bubastis, that 
many temples were larger but few so beautiful, and which prove that the Egyptians 
then, as before the time of Herodotus, sought to honour Isis with monuments worthy of 
her importance. The sculptures in relief on the granite show the immense labour 
bestowed upon them, and some of the hieroglyphics on the architraves are 14 inches 
long. On the cornices are the names of Ptolemy alternating with three feather or- 
naments forming an Egyptian triglyph, and one of them has the heads of Isis alter- 
nating with kings 1 names. The large columns were surmounted by heads of Isis, 
like those of Dendera, but with the remarkable difference that they were of granite ; 
and on the bases of the walls was the not unusual row of figures of the god Nilus. 


Chap. 61, 62. FESTIVAL AT SAIS. 9] 

have been already spoken of. It is there that the whole multi- 
tude, both of men and women, many thousands in number, beat 
themselves at the close of the sacrifice, in honour of a god, whose 
name a religious scruple forbids me to mention. 7 The Carian 
dwellers in Egypt proceed on this occasion to still greater lengths, 
even cutting their faces with their knives, 8 whereby they let it 
be seen that they are not Egyptians but foreigners. 

62. At Sais, 9 when the assembly takes place for the sacri- 

bearing vases and emblems. The sculptures mostly represent offerings made to 
Isis (frequently with the emblem of Athor), to Osiris, Anubis, and the crocodile- 
headed god ; and the hawk-headed Hor-Hat is figured in one place leading up the 
King to the presence of Isis, who is styled " defender of her brother (Osiris)." A 
crude brick wall surrounded the temenos or sacred enclosure, in which the temple 
stood, and which had as usual stone gateways. — [G. W.] 

7 This was Osiris, and men are often represented doing this in the paintings of 
the tombs. See the preceding note, and n. 7 , ch. 85. — [G. W\] 

H The custom of cutting themselves was not Egyptian ; and it is therefore 
evident that the command in Leviticus (xix. 28 ; xxi. 5) against making " any 
cuttings in their flesh " was not directed against a custom derived from Egypt, but 
from Syria, where the worshippers of Baal " cut themselves after their manner with 
knives and lancets" (darts), 1 Kings xviii. 28. — [G. W.] 

9 The site of Sais is marked by lofty mounds, enclosing a space of great extent. 

(See n. 5 , ch. 169, and n. 9 , ch. 170.) Its modern name 8a, or Sa-el-Hugar, "Sa of 

the stone," from the ruins formerly there, shows it was derived from the ancient 

Ssa, or Sals, of which Neith (Minerva) is said in the legends to be the " Mistress ; " 

showing that Plato is right in calling Neith the Minerva of Sais (Timaaus, 

^■■C p. 22, A.). She is sometimes called Neit-Ank, or Onk, in which we re- 

«^^^, cognise Onka, the name given to the Boeotian Minerva, according to 

» Plutarch, and confirmed by iEschylus, who calls her Onka Pallas, and 
*^^~ speaks of a gate at Thebes, called Oncaean after her (Sept. c. Theb. 487). 
JT* It is also called Oncaean by Apollodorus ; but Euripides, Pausanias, and 
Statius call it Ogygian. The scholiast on JEschylus says Cadmus founded 
a temple there to the Egyptian Minerva, who was called Oncsea. This temple and 
name are also mentioned by the Schol. Pind. 01. ii. 44, who says the name is Phoeni- 
cian. Pausanias also calls it Phoenician (ix. 12, 2), and uses it as an argument to 
prove Cadmus was a Phoenician and not an Egyptian, as some supposed (see Gale 
and Selden). But Onk is the name of the Egyptian Vesta, made into Anouke by 
the Greeks, who is shown to be a character of Neith or Minerva by the hieroglyphic 
legends. Anouke was a very ancient goddess, and the third person of the triad at 
the first cataract. Nepthys, Neb-t-ei ("the lady of the house") has even the title 
Ank in a legend at Dendera ; she was also a character of Vesta, with whom she 
agrees as daughter of Saturn and Rhea (Seb and Netpe), and was protectress of the 
hearth ; one of many proofs how much the deities of different orders have in com- 
mon with each other ; Nepthys being connected with Neith, as Isis, the mother of 
the child, is with Maut, " the mother' 1 '' goddess. Plutarch (de Is. s. 9) mentions an 
inscription in the temple of Minerva — "I am everything which has been, which is, 
and which will be, and no mortal has yet lifted my veil ; " but he is Avrong in con- 
sidering the still unveiled or the unmarried goddess the same as Isis, and in saying 
the latter was called by the Egyptians "Athena," signifying " I proceeded from my- 
self" (de Is. s. 62). Nor did the Egyptians attribute the gift of the olive to Minerva, 
but to Mercury (Diodor. i. 16). Still less is Zeth, " olive," of the Hebrew (the Arabic 
ZU " oil," Zetoun " olive") related to the name of Sais. Neith is often represented 
with a bow and arrows, being, as Proclus says (in Tim.), goddess of war as well as 
of philosophy ; and her holding the sceptre of the male deities is consistent with her 
being " ap<rev6&r)Avs. v Pliny says Minerva was armed to show that both male and 


fices, there is one night on which the inhabitants all burn a 
multitude of lights in the open air round their houses. They 
use lamps, which are flat saucers filled with a mixture of oil and 
salt, 1 on the top of which the wick floats. These burn the whole 
night, and give to the festival the name of the Feast of Lamps. 
The Egyptians who are absent from the festival observe the 
night of the sacrifice, no less than the rest, by a general lighting 
of lamps ; so that the illumination is not confined to the city of 
Sais but extends over the whole of Egypt. And there is a re- 
ligious reason assigned for the special honour paid to this night, 
as well as for the illumination which accompanies it. 

63. At Heliopolis 2 and Buto 3 the assemblies are merely for 
the purpose of sacrifice ; but at Papremis/ besides the sacrifices 
and other rites which are performed there as elsewhere, the fol- 
lowing custom is observed. When the sun is getting low, a few 
only of the priests continue occupied about the image of the god, 
while the greater number, armed with wooden clubs, take their 
station at the portal of the temple. Opposite to them is drawn 
up a body of men, in number above a thousand, armed, like the 
others, with clubs, consisting of persons engaged in the perform- 
ance of their vows. The image of the god, which is kept in a 

female natures can pursue every virtue. Some think 'Ab-qva a transposition of the 
Egyptian Nr}&.— [G. W.] 

1 The oil floated on water mixed with salt. This fete of lamps calls to mind a 
Chinese as well as an Indian custom. It is remarkable that Homer mentions no 
one but Minerva with an oil-lamp (Odys. xix. 34) ; and her figure is sometimes at- 
tached to the upright terra-cotta lamps of the Etruscans. (See Batrachom. 1*79, Strab. 
ix. 396, Plut. Sympos. viii. 716 E, Pausan. i. 26. 7.) There was a festival or race of 
torches at Athens (Aristoph. Wasps 1203, Frogs 131, 1087, 1098, and Sch.), but 
this was quite different from the fete of lamps at Sals. Strabo (ix. p. 574) speaks of 
the old temple of Minerva Polias in the Acropolis of Athens, in which a lamp was 
always kept burning. The Minerva and Vulcan of Athens were supposed^to have 
been from Egypt.— [G. W.] 

2 Plutarch asserts that when the sacrifices were offered at Heliopolis, no wine 
was allowed to be taken into the temple of the sun; but this may only signify that 
they were forbidden to drink it in the temple, " it being indecent to do so under the 
eyes of their lord and king" (de Is. s. 6). See note 5 on ch. 37.— [G. W.] 

3 See n. 2 on ch. 59 and n. 3 on ch. 155. 

4 Papremis is not known in the sculptures as the name of the Egyptian Mars ; 
and it may only have been that of the city, the capital of a nome (ch. 165) which 
stood between the modern Menzaleh and Damietta in the Delta. It was here that 
Inaros routed the Persians (infra, iii. 12); and it is remarkable that in this very isl- 
and, formed by the old Mendesian and the modern Damietta branches, the Crusaders 
were defeated in 1220, and again in 1249, when Louis IX. was taken prisoner. The 
deity who seems to have borne the most resemblance to Mars was Mandoo ; Ranpo 
(supposed to be Remphan) and Anta being the god and goddess of war. Honurius, 
a name of Mars, which is also unknown in the sculptures, may be a corruption of 
Horus. The hippopotamus was sacred to Mars, and is said to have been worshipped 
at Papremis (eh. 71). Macrobius considers Mars the sun, which agrees with the 
character of Mandoo or Mandoo-Rc (Saturn, i. 19). Some suppose the fortified town 
of Ibreem (Primis-parva) to have been called from him. — [G. W.j 

Chap. 63, 64. 



small wooden shrine covered with plates of gold, is conveyed 
from the temple into a second sacred building the day before 
the festival begins. The few priests still in attendance upon the 
image place it, together with the shrine containing it, on a four- 
wheeled car, 5 and begin to drag it along ; the others, stationed 
at the gateway of the temple, oppose its admission. Then the 
votaries come forward to espouse the quarrel of the god, and set 
upon the opponents, who are sure to ofler resistance. A sharp 
tight with clubs ensues, in which heads are commonly broken on 
both sides. Many, I am convinced, die of the wounds that 
they receive, though the Egyptians insist that no one is ever 

64. The natives give the subjoined account of this festival. 
They say that the mother of the god Mars once dwelt in the 
temple. Brought up at a distance from his parent, when he 
grew to man's estate he conceived a wish to visit her. Accord- 
ingly he came, but the attendants, who had never seen him 
before, refused him entrance, and succeeded in keeping him out. 
So he went to another city and collected a body of men, with 
whose aid he handled the attendants very roughly, and forced 
his way in to his mother. Hence they say arose the custom of a 
fight with sticks in honour of Mars at this festival. 

The Egyptians first made it a point of religion to have no 

5 This was of unusual occurrence in the Egyptian sculptures ; but a representation 
of a car, bearing a small shrine in a boat, found on the bandages of a mummy be- 

longing to Signor d'Athanasi, seems to be similar to the one mentioned by Herod- 
otus, with this difference, that the figure representing the deceased is recumbent in- 
stead of being the standing image of a deity. Four-wheeled cars were common in 
many countries. The Latin name petoritum is derived, as Festus says, from petor, 
" four " in Oscan, and rit (rota) "wheel." Petor is another form of quatuor, the 
Gothic jidvcr, iEolic Pisures, Sanscrit Chatur. — [G. W.J 


converse with women in the sacred places, and not to enter them 
without washing, after such converse. Almost all other nations, 
except the Greeks and the Egyptians, act differently, regarding 
man as in this matter under no other law than the brutes. 
Many animals, they say, and various kinds of birds may be seen 
to couple in the temples and the sacred precincts, which would 
certainly not happen if the gods were displeased at it. Such 
are the arguments by which they defend their practice, but I 
nevertheless can by no means approve of it. In these points 
the Egyptians are specially careful, as they are indeed in every 
thing which concerns their sacred edifices. 

65. Egypt, though it borders upon Libya, is not a region 
abounding in wild animals. 6 The animals that do exist in the 
••-ountry, whether domesticated or otherwise, are all regarded as 
sacred. If I were to explain why they are consecrated to the 
several gods, I should be led to speak of religious matters, Vhich 
I particularly shrink from mentioning ; the points whereon I 
have touched slightly hitherto have all been introduced from 
sheer necessity. Their custom with respect to animals is as fol- 
lows. For every kind there are appointed certain guardians, 
some male, some female, 7 whose business it is to look after them ; 
and this honour 8 is made to descend from father to son. The 

6 This was thought to be extraordinary, because Africa abounded in wild 
animals (infra, iv. 191-2) ; but it was on the west and south, and not on the confines 
of Egypt that they were numerous. Though Herodotus abstains from saying why 
the Egyptians held some animals sacred, he explains it income degree by observing 
that Egypt did not abound in animals. It was therefore found necessary to ensure 
the preservation of some, as in the case of cows and sheep; others were sacred in 
consequence of their being unwholesome food, as swine, and certain fish ; and others 
from their utility in destroying noxious reptiles, as the cat, ichneumon, ibis, vulture, 
and falcon tribe : or for some particular purpose, as the crocodile was saered in 
places distant from the Nile, where the canals required keeping up. The 'same is 
stated by Porphyry (de Sacrifices) and Cicero (Nat. Deor. i. 3t>), who says that the 
custom of " representing the gods with the heads of oxen, birds, and other creatures, 
was introduced in order that the people might abstain from eating them, or for 
some other mysterious reason." In this they observed certain gradations. All 
that are said to have been worshipped did not really receive that honour. Some 
were in themselves sacred, being looked upon, as Strabo and Porphyry say, "really 
to be gods," as the bull Apis, and others; some were only representations of certain 
deities, and many were mere emblems. Diodorus and Cicero also attribute their 
worship to their utility to man ; but the same satisfactory reason is not to be found 
in all eases. See above, note 6 on ch. 42. — [G. W.l 

7 Women were probably employed to give the food to many of the animals; but 
the curators appear to have been men, of the sacerdotal class. Diodorus speaks of 
certain revenues for the support of the sacred animals, besides the donations of the 
devout ; and he describes their feeding the hawks by throwing up the meat cut into 
small pieces; the cats and ichneumons being fed with bread soaked in milk, or with 
fish cut up for them. Even in the present day cats are fed at the Kadi's court and 
at the Nahasin (copper-market) of the Khan Khaleel, in Cairo, from funds left for 
the purpose. See At. Eg. W. vol. v. p. 165.— [G. W.] 

B Herodotus and Diodorus agree in representing the office of feeding the sacred 


inhabitants of the various cities, when they have made a vow to 
any god, pay it to his animals in the way which I will now ex- 
plain. At the time of making the vow they shave the head of 
the child, 9 cutting off all the hair, or else half, or sometimes a 
third part, which they then weigh in a balance against a sum of 
silver ; and whatever sum the hair weighs is presented to the 
guardian of the animals, who thereupon cuts up some fish, and 
gives it to them for food — such being the stuff whereon they are 
fed. When a man has killed one of the sacred animals, if he 

animals as an honourable one ; " and so far," says Diodorus, " are they from declining 
or feeling ashamed openly to fulfil this office, that they pride themselves upon it, 
going in procession through the towns and country, with the distinguishing marks 
of their occupation, as if they were partakers of the highest honours of the gods. 
And being known by a peculiar emblem belonging to each, the people perceive, on 
their approach, of what animal they have the care, and show them respect by bow- 
ing to the ground, and by other marks of honour" (i. 83). The expense incurred 
for the maintenance of these animals was often very great, and their funerals were 
sometimes performed in so sumptuous a manner, that they cost the curators more 
than they had the means of paying ; and when in foreign countries, the Egyptian 
army was never known to leave behind it the cats and hawks, even though they had 
a difficulty in obtaining the means of transport ; and they were always brought back 
to Egypt, to be buried in holy ground. In consequence of various reasons for the 
respect or the hostility felt towards a particular animal in different parts of Egypt, 
many quarrels took place in later times between towns and districts (Juven. Sat. 
xv. 36, see above n. B on ch. 42). But these were not likely to have been permitted 
during the age of the Pharaohs, when the law was strong, the real object better 
understood, and the priests were more interested in maintaining their authority, and 
in preventing an exposure of their system ; and no opinion can be formed of the 
Egyptians or their customs when in the degraded state to which they had fallen 
under the Romans. For, as De Pauw observes, " there is no more reason to believe 
such excesses were committed in old times, than to expect the modern towns of 
Europe to make war on each other, in order to maintain the pre-eminence of their 
saints and patrons " (Rech. sur les Eg. et Chinois, i. 145). But whatever may have 
been the original motive, there is no doubt that the effect of this sanctity of ani- 
mals was only what might have been foreseen, and like the division of the deity into 
various forms and attributes, or the adoration of any but the Supreme Being, could 
not possibly end in anything but superstition and error. And though Plutarch (de 
Is. s. 8) thinks that " the religious rites and ceremonies of the Egyptians were never 
instituted on irrational grounds, or built on mere fable," he feels obliged to allow 
that, by adoring the animals themselves, and reverencing them as gods, the Egyp- 
tians, at least the greater part of them, have not only filled their religious worship 
with many contemptible and ridiculous rites, but have given occasion to notions of 
the most dangerous consequence, driving the weak and simple-minded into all the 
extravagance of superstition. See At. Eg. W. vol. v. p. 91-114; and compare n. 7 
on ch. 37.— [G. W.] 

9 Though Egyptian men shaved their heads, boys had sev- 
eral tufts of hair left, as in modern Egypt and China. Princes 
also wore a long plaited lock, falling from near the top of the 
head, behind the ear, to the neck. This was the sign of child- 
hood, and was given to the infant Harpocrates. To it Lucian 
alludes when he says (Navig. 3), " It is a sign of nobility in 
Egypt, for all freeborn youths to plait their hair until the age 
of puberty," though in Greece " the hair twisted back and 
plaited is a sign of one not being free." The lock worn by 
princes was not always real hair, but a false one appended to 
the wig they wore, sometimes plaited to resemble hair, some- 



Book II. 

did it with malice prepense, he is punished with death ; l if un- 
wittingly, he has to pay such a fine as the priests choose to im- 
pose. When an ibis, however, or a hawk is killed, whether it 
was done by accident or on purpose, the man must needs die. 

66. The number of domestic animals in Egypt is very great, 
and would be still greater were it not for what befalls the cats. 
As the females, when they have kittened, no longer seek the 
company of the males, these last, to obtain once more their com- 
panionship, practise a curious artifice. They seize the kittens, 
carry them off, and kill them, but do not eat them afterwards. 
Upon this the females, being deprived of their young, and long- 
ing to supply their place, seek the males once more, since they 
are particularly fond of their offspring. On every occasion of a 
fire in Egypt the strangest prodigy occurs with the cats. The 
inhabitants allow the fire to rage as it pleases, while they stand 
about at intervals and watch these animals, which, slipping by 
the men or else leaping over them, rush headlong into the flames. 2 

times within a covering fastened to the side of the head-dress, 
by a Prince Remeses, was highly ornamented. — [G. W.] 

One of these, worn 

1 The law was, as Herodotus says, againsi a person killing them on purpose, but 
the prejudiced populace in after times did not always keep within the law ; and 
Diodorus declares that if any person killed an ibis, or a cat, even unintentionally, it 
infallibly cost him his life, the multitude collecting and tearing him to pieces ; for 
fear of which calamity, if any body found one of them dead, he stood at a distance, 
and calling with a loud voice made every demonstration of grief, and protested that 
it was found lifeless. And to such an extent did they carry this, that they could 
not be deterred by any representation from their own magistrates from killing a 
Roman who had accidentally caused the death of a cat (Diod. i. 83). This confirms 
the statement in a previous note (ch. 65, note 8 ) of the change since the time of the 
Pharaohs. A similar prejudice exists in India in favour of their sacred animals. 
Cicero says it was a capital offence in Egypt to kill " an ibis, an asp, a cat, a dog, or 
a crocodile" (Tusc. Disp. v. 27) ; but the crocodile was not sacred throughout the 
country. Plutarch mentions the ibis, hawk, eynocephah;*, and the apis, as the 
animals in universal estimation throughout Egypt, to which the cat, dog, cow, vul- 
ture, and asp, should have been added. Great respect was also paid to the jackal, 
as the emblem of Anubis ; but many others merely enjoyed local honours. — [G. W.j 

2 The very measures adopted by the Egyptians to prevent the cats being burnt 

Chap. 66, 61. INTERMENT OF ANIMALS. 97 

When this happens, the Egyptians are in deep affliction. If a 
cat dies in a private house by a natural death, all the inmates 
of the house shave their eyebrows ; on the death of a dog they 
shave the head and the whole of the body. 

67. The cats on their decease are taken to the city of Bu- 
bastis, 3 where they are embalmed, after which they are buried in 
certain sacred repositories. The dogs are interred in the cities 
to which they belong, also in sacred burial-places. The same 
practice obtains with respect to the ichneumons ; 4 the hawks 
and shrew-mice, on the contrary, are conveyed to the city of 
Buto for burial, and the ibises 5 to Hermopolis. The bears, 

frightened thern (as Laicher supposes), and made them rush into the danger. — 
[G. W.] 

3 Cats were embalmed and buried where they died, except perhaps in the neigh- 
bourhood of Bubastis ; for we find their mummies at Thebes and other Egyptian 
towns, and the same may be said of hawks and ibises. At Thebes numerous ibis 
mummies are found, as well as in the well known ibis-mummy pit of Sakkara ; and 
cows, dogs, hawks, mice, and other animals are found embalmed and buried at 
Thebes. They did not therefore carry all the cats to Bubastis ; the shrew mice and 
hawks to Buto ; or the ibis to Hermopolis. But it is very possible that persons 
whose religious scruples were very strong or who wished to show greater honour 
to one of those animals, sent them to be buried at the city of the god to whom 
they were sacred, as individuals sometimes preferred having their bodies interred at 
Abydus, because it was the holy burial-place of Osiris. This explains the statement 
of Herodotus, as well as the fact of a great number of cat mummies being found at 
the Speos Artemidos, and the number of dog mummies in the Cynopolite nome, and 
of wolf mummies at Lycopolis. In some places the mummies of oxen, sheep, dogs, 
cats, serpents, and fishes, were buried in a common repository ; but wherever par- 
ticular animals were sacred, small tombs, or cavities in the rock, were made for 
their reception, and sepulchres were set apart for certain animals in the cemeteries 
of other towns.— [G. W.] 

4 The viverra ichneumon is still very common in Egypt, particularly on the 
western bank, from the modern Geezeh to the Fy6om. It was supposed to be sacred 
to Lucina and Latona. Hcracleopolis was the city where it was principally hon- 
oured ; and its hostility to the crocodile, in destroying its eggs, was the cause of 
the ill-will that subsisted between the Heracleopolites and the people of the neigh- 
bouring nome of Crocodilopolis (the modern Fyoom). Its habit of destroying eggs 
is well known, and this is frequently represented in the paintings of Thebes, Beni- 
Hassan, and Sakkara. It is now called nims, 
or Got, i. e. (Kot) Pharaoon, " Pharaoh's 
cat," probably from the reverence it formerly 
received in Egypt. This was from its hostil- 
ity to cats ; and above all for its antipathy 
to serpents, which it certainly has a remark- 
able facility of destroying. JElian, and 
other ancient writers, have overloaded the truth with so many idle tales, that the 
feats of the ichneumon appear altogether fabulous ; the destruction of the crocodile's 
eggs having been converted into a direct attack on the crocodile itself, and a cuirass 
of mud against a snake having been thought necessary to account for what is really 
done bv its extreme quickness. See At. Eer. W. vol. ii. p. 31, and vol. v. p. 149 to 
157.-[G.W.] 4 ^ ' 

5 These birds were sacred to Thoth, the god of letters and the moon, who cor- 
responded to Mercury, being the intermediate agent between the gods and man. 
He was particularly worshipped at Hermopolis Magna, now Oshmoonayn, in Coptic 
Shmoun B, or the " two Eights," in allusion to his title of " Lord of the eight 

Vol. IL— 1 


which are scarce in Egypt, 6 and the wolves, which are not much 
bigger than foxes/ they bury wherever they happen to find them 

68. The following are the peculiarities of the crocodile : — 
During the four winter months they eat nothing ; 8 they are four- 
regions," common in the hieroglyphic legends. On the edge of the desert, west of 
that place, are many pits where the sacred ibises were buried. Hermopolis parva 
now Damanhour in the Delta, was also a city named after this god. Another, 
called Ibeum, nearly opposite Acoris, was either sacred to, or was the burial-place 
of, the ibis ; and Champollion supposed it received the name of Nibis from Ma-n- 
hip, or n-hip " the place (city) of the ibis," which in Egypt was called Hip. (See 
below note 6 on ch. 76.) The Cynocephalus ape was also sacred to Thoth. — [G. W.] 

6 It is very evident that bears were not natives of Egypt ; they are not represen- 
ted among the animals of the country ; and no instance occurs of a bear in the 
sculptures except as a curiosity brought by foreigners. These people are the Rot- 
n-no (divided by the Egyptians into "upper and lower") who lived by Mesopotamia ; 
and the coming of the bear from the neighbourhood of the Euphrates accords well 
with the present habitat of the small light-coloured Ursus Syriacus. — [G. W.] 

7 Herodotus is quite correct in saying that wolves in Egypt were scarcely larger 
than foxes. It is singular that he omits all mention of the hyaena, which is so com- 
mon in the country, and which is represented in the sculptures of Upper and Lower 
Egypt. The wolf is an animal of Upper and Lower Egypt. Its Egyptian name was 
« Ouonsh."— [G. W.] 

8 If the crocodile rarely comes out of the river in the cold weather, because it 
finds the water warmer than the external air at that season, there is no reason to 
believe it remains torpid all that time, though, like all the lizard tribe, it can exist a 
long time without eating, and I have known them live in a house for three months 
without food, sleeping most of the time ; indeed, when the weather is warm, even 
in winter, it frequently conies out of the water to bask on the sand-banks, and 
there during the great heats of summer it sleeps with its mouth wide open towards 
the wind. In Herodotus' time crocodiles frequented the lower part of the Nile more 
than at present, and may have remained longer under water in that latitude. Indeed 
for many months they have little opportunity of being seen, owing to the inundation 
covering their favourite sand-banks. They do not now frequent the Nile below 
Beni Hassan, and they are seldom seen north of the latitude of Manfaloot. Their 
eggs, as Herodotus says, are laid in the sand often under the bank, and hatched by 
the heat of the sun ; and the great disparity between the animal when full-grown, 
and its original size in the egg is remarkable, since the latter only measures three 
inches in length and two inches in breadth (or diameter), being less than that of 
the goose which measures 3 6 /e by 2f . The two ends are exactly alike. When formed, 
the young crocodile lies within with its tail turned round to its head ; and 
when full-grown it becomes nearly 70 times longer than the egg, the crocodile of 
Egypt attaining to the size of 20 to 22 feet. In Ethiopia it is larger ; and Herodotus 
gives it 17 cubits (=25^feet, or 29, if by the cubit of the Nilometer) in Egypt, or even 
more. Its small eyes are long, which makes Herodotus compare them to those of 
a pig, and they are covered by a thin pellucid (nictitating) membrane, mentioned 
by Plutarch (de Is. s. 75), which passes over them from the outer corner, and con- 
tinues there while it sleeps. It is perfectly true that it has no tongue, and the 
throat is closed by a thick membrane which is only opened when it swallows ; but 
the story of its moving its upper jaw is owing to its throwing up its whole head 
when it seizes its prey, at the same time that it really moves its lower jaw downwards. 
The strength of its skin, particularly on the back, where it is covered with scales, 
has made it useful for shields (as Pliny says of the Hippopotamus, " Tergoris ad 
scuta galeasque impenetrabilis "), which are still made of it in Ethiopia. Though 
the scales serve to indicate the two species known in the Nile, they differ very little 
in their position ; and the black and green colour of the two crocodiles is a more 
evident distinction. The notion of this animal, which catches fish, not being able 


footed, and live indifferently on land or in the water. The female 
lays and hatches her eggs ashore, passing the greater portion of 
the day on dry land, but at night retiring to the river, the water 
of which is warmer than the night-air and the dew. Of all 
known animals this is the one which from the smallest size 
grows to be the greatest : for the egg of the crocodile is but 
little bigger than that of the goose, and the young crocodile is in 
proportion to the egg ; yet when it is full grown, the animal 
measures frequently seventeen cubits and even more. It has 
the eyes of a pig, teeth large and tusk-like, of a size proportioned 
to its frame ; unlike any other animal, it is without a tongue ; 
it cannot move its under-jaw, and in this respect too it is singu- 
lar, being the only animal in the world which moves the upper- 
jaw but not the under. It has strong claws and a scaly skin, 
impenetrable upon the back. In the water it is blind, but on 
land it is very keen of sight. As it lives chiefly in the river, 
it has the inside of its mouth constantly covered with leeches ; 
hence it happens that, while all the other birds and beasts avoid 
it, with the trochilus it lives at peace, since it owes much to that 
bird : for the crocodile, when he leaves the water and comes out 
upon the land, is in the habit of lying with his mouth wide open, 
facing the western breeze : at such times the trochilus goes into 
his mouth and devours the leeches. This benefits the crocodile, 
who is pleased, and takes care not to hurt the trochilus. 

69. The crocodile is esteemed sacred by some of the Egyp- 
tians, by others he is treated as an enemy. 9 - 'Those who live near 

to see under water, is contrary to all reason, as is the annoyance to which Herod- 
otus supposes it subject, of having its mouth invaded by leeches. The story of 
the friendly offices of the Trochilus appears to be derived from that bird's uttering a 
shrill note as it flies away on the approach of man, and (quite unintentionally) warn- 
ing the crocodile of danger. In its range of long tusks the two end ones of the 
lower jaw pass through corresponding holes in the upper jaw, near the nose, when 
the mouth is closed. These are formed by the teeth growing long, there being as 
yet no such holes while the animal is young. — [G. W.] 

9 See above, note 5 on ch. 42. Strabo speaks of a sacred crocodile kept at 
Crocodilopolis (afterwards called Arsinoe) called Suchus, which was fed by the 
priests with the bread, meat, and wine contributed by strangers. This name was 
evidently taken from Savak, the crocodile-headed god — and that mentioned by 
Herodotus, " Champses," was the Egyptian msah, or emsoh, which may be traced 
in the Arabic temsah. The Greeks prefixed the % as ^ e J now change the h of 
Arabic into a hard k, as " kagi " for "hagi" &c. At Crocodilopolis, and at another 
town of the same name above Hermopolis, at Ombos, Coptos, Athribis, (called also 
Crocodilopolis,) and even at Thebes, and some other places, the crocodile was 
greatly honoured ; and ^Elian (x. 24) says that their numbers increased so much 
that it was not safe for any one to wash his feet, or draw water at the river, near 
those towns ; and no one could walk by the stream at Ombos, Coptos, or Arsinoe, 
without great caution. Herodotus says the sacred crocodiles of the Crocodilopolite 
nome were buried in the lower chambers of the Labyrinth (infra, ch." 148). The 
Tentyrites, and the people of Apollinopolis, Heracleopolis, and the Island of Elcphan- 


Thebes, and those who dwell around Lake Moeris, regard them 
with especial veneration. In each of these places they keep one 
crocodile in particular, who is taught to be tame and tractable. 
They adorn his ears 1 with ear-rings of molten stone 2 or gold, 
and put bracelets on his fore-paws, giving him daily a set por- 
tion of bread, with a certain number of victims ; and, after hav- 
ing thus treated him with the greatest possible attention while 
alive, they embalm him when he dies and bury him in a sacred 
repository. The people of Elephantine, on the other hand, are 
so far from considering these animals as sacred that they even 
eat their flesh. In the Egyptian language they are not called 
crocodiles, but Champsge. The name of crocodiles was given 
them by the Ionians, who remarked their resemblance to the 
lizards, which in Ionia live in the walls, and are called croco- 
diles. 3 

70. The modes of catching the crocodile 4 are many and 
various. I shall only describe the one which seems to me most 

tine, looked upon them with particular aversion, and the same hatred was shown 
to them whenever they were considered types of the Evil Being. The skill of the 
Tentyrites in destroying them was well known, and their facility in overpowering 
them in the water is attributed by Pliny (viii. 25) and Seneca (Nat. Qusest. iv. 2) to 
their courage, as well as to their dexterity, the crocodile being "timid before the 
bold, and most ready to attack those who were afraid of it." The truth of the 
skill of the Tentyrites was even tested at Rome ; and Strabo says they went after 
them into a tank of water prepared for the purpose, and entangling them in a net 
dragged them to its shelving edge and back agaiu into the water, in the presence 
of numerous spectators. Mummies of crocodiles have been found at Thebes and 
other places, but principally at the large natural cave near Maabdeh (opposite Man- 
faloot), near which it is probable that some town formerly stood where they were 
particularly honoured. — [G. W.] 

1 The crocodile's ears are merely small openings witfiout any flesh projecting 
beyond the head.— [G. W\] 

2 By molten stone seems to be meant glass, which was well known to the Egyp- 
tians (see note 8 on ch. 44), as it was also to the Assyrians (Layard's Nineveh and 
Babylon, 196-7, &c.) and Babylonians (ibid. p. 503). 

3 KpoK65eiAos was the term given by the Ionians to lizards, as the Portuguese 
al legato "the lizard" is the origin of our alligator. The Ionians are here the des- 
cendants of the Ionian soldiers of Psammetichus. The crocodile is not the Levia- 
than of Job xli. as some have supposed. Isaiah xxvii. 1, calls "Leviathan the pierc- 
ing serpent," and "that crooked serpent," corresponding to the Aphophis or "great 
serpent " of Egypt, the emblem of sin. — [G. W.] 

4 One, which is now adopted, is to fasten a little puppy on a log of wood, to the 
middle of which a strong rope is tied, protected to a certain distance by iron wire, 
and this when swallowed by the crocodile turns, on being pulled across its throat. 
It is then dragged ashore, and soon killed by blows on the head from poles ami 
hatchets. They have another mode of catching it. A man swims, having his head 
covered by a gourd with two holes for his eyes, to a sandbank where the crocodile 
is sleeping ; and when he has reached it, he rises from the water with a shout, and 
throws a spear into its side, or armpit if possible, when feeling itself wounded, it 
rushes into the water. The head of the barbed spear having a rope attached to 
it, the crocodile is thereby pulled in, and wounded again by the man (and his com- 
panions who join him) until it is exhausted and killed ; and the same method is 
adopted for catching the hippopotamus in Ethiopia. — [G. W.] 

Chap. 10, 11. THE HIPPOPOTAMUS. 101 

worthy of mention. They bait a hook with a chine of pork and 
let the meat be carried out into the middle of the stream, while 
the hunter upon the bank holds a living pig ? which he belabours. 
The crocodile hears its cries and, making for the sound, encoun- 
ters the pork, which he instantly swallows down. The men on 
the shore haul, and when they have got him to land, the first 
thing the hunter does is to piaster his eyes with mud. This 
once accomplished, the animal is despatched with ease, otherwise 
he gives great trouble. 

71. The hippopotamus, 5 in the canton of Papremis, is a 
sacred animal, but not in any other part of Egypt. It may 
be thus described : — It is a quadruped, cloven-footed, with hoofs 
like an ox, and a flat nose. It has the mane and tail of a horse, 
huge tusks which are very conspicuous, and a voice like a horse's 
neigh. In size it equals the biggest oxen, and its skin is so 
tough that when dried it is made into javelins. 6 

5 This animal was formerly common in Egypt, but is now rarely seen as low as 
the second cataract. The chase of the hippopotamus was a favourite amusement. 
It was entangled by a running noose, and then struck by a spear, to the barbed 
blade of which a strong line was fastened. On striking it the shaft left the blade, 
the line running on a reel was let out, and it was then dragged back again to receive 
other spear-wounds till it was exhausted, when the ropes of the various blades were 
used to secure it. (Cp. Diodor. i. 35 ; see pi. xv. At. Eg. W. vol. iii. p. 11.) The 
description of the hippopotamus by Herodotus is far from correct. Its feet are 
divided into four short toes, not like the hoof of a bull ; the teeth certainly project, 
but it has no mane, and its tail, almost trilateral at the end, is very unlike that of a 
horse ; nor does it neigh, the noise being between lowing and grunting. Its size 
far exceeds that of the largest bull, being, when full grown, from 14 to 18 ft. long. 
Shafts of javelins (cp. i. 52) may possibly have been made of the hide, but it is 
better suited for whips (now called corbdg) and shields, both which were made of it 
in ancient as in modern times. Pliny justly says, " ad scuta galeasque impenetrab- 
ilis" (viii. 25). Its Egyptian name was opt, with the article p-opt. It is said to 
have been sacred to Mars (ch. 63), probably the pygmy deity armed with sword and 
shield (At. Eg. pi. xli. pt. 1). It was a Typhonian animal, and "a hippopotamus 
bound " was stamped on the cakes used in the sacrifices of the festival for the re- 
turn of Isis from Phoenicia, on the 11th of Tybi (Plut. de Is. s. 50). It was probably 
the behemdth of Job (xl. 15), that "eateth grass like an ox," and " lieth ... in the 
covert of the reed and fens." See Gesenius 1 Heb. Lex., where the word is thought 
to be Egyptian, p-ehe-mout, "the water-ox." Shields are still made of its hide by 
the Ethiopians and Blacks of Africa as of old, as well as of the crocodile, giraffe, 
and bull's hide.— [G. W.] 

6 According to Porphyry (ap. Euseb. Pr»p. Ev. X. iii. p. 166 B.) Herodotus 
transferred his accounts of the phoenix, the hippopotamus, and the mode of catching 
the crocodile bodily from Hecatasus, making only a few verbal alterations. It is 
possible that the statement may be true as regards the two quadrupeds, though one 
would think that Herodotus might have had equal means of personal observation 
with the earlier writer. In the case of the phoenix, Porphyry's account cannot be 
received, for it is evident that Herodotus drew directly from the Egyptian pictures. 
He says, moreover (infra, ch. 99), that all his account of Egypt is the result of his 
own ideas and observations. This however, may be an exaggeration. 



Book II, 

72. Otters 7 also are found in the Nile, and are considered 
sacred. Only two sorts of fish are venerated, 8 that called the 

7 The name ivvSpies is indefinite, and the otter is unknown in Egypt ; but Am- 
mianus Marcellinus (xxii. 14, p. 336) explains it by showing that the " hydrus was 
a kind of ichneumon ; " and though Herodotus was aware of the existence of the 
ichneumon, he may easily have mistaken it for the otter, as modern travellers are 
known to do, on seeing it coming out of the river. — [G. W.] 

8 The fish particularly sacred were the Oxyrhinchus, the Lepidotus, and the 
Phagrus or eel ; and the Latus was sacred at Latopolis, as the Maeotes at Elephan- 
tine. The Oxyrhinchus, which gave its name to the city where it was particularly 
honoured, had, as its name shows, a "pointed nose," and was the same as the modern 
Mizdeh, the Mormyrus Oxyrhinchus. It is often found in bronze. So highly was 

No. I. 

No. II. 

it revered at Oxyrhinchus that a quarrel took place between that city and the people 
of Cynopolis, in consequence of their having eaten one ; and no Oxyrhinchite would 
eat any other fish taken by a hook, lest it should have been defiled by having at 

No. III. 

any time wounded one of their sacred fish (Plut. de Is. vii. 18, 22). The Lepidotus 
was a scaly fish, but it is uncertain whether it was the Kelb-el-Bahr (Salmo dentex), 
the Kisher (or Gisher), a name signifying " scaly," the Perca Nilotica, or the Benny 
(Cyprinus Lepidotus) ; and the bronze representations do not clear up the question, 
though they favour the claims of the last of the three (see Plut. de Is. s. 18). The 

Chap. 72. 





Book II. 

lepidotus and the eel. These are regarded as sacred to the Nile, 
as likewise among birds is the vulpanser, or fox-goose. 9 

Phagrus or eel was sacred at Syene and at Phagroriopolis, and the reason of its 
being sacred at this last place was evidently in order to induce the people to keep 
up the canal. Of the habits of some fish of Egypt, see Strabo xv. p. 486. It is un- 
certain what species the Latus and Maeotes were, and iElian thinks the Phagrus and 
Maeotes were the same fish (see At. Eg. W. vol. v. p. 253). But all people did not 
regard these fish with the same feelings, and all kinds are represented as caught and 
eaten in different parts of Egypt. The people, not priests, ate them both fresh 
and salted, and fishing with the hook, the bidemt (At. Eg. W. vol. iii. p. 41), and 
the net, are among the most common representations in the paintings of Thebes 
and other places, and an amusement of the rich as well as an occupation of the 
poor. Several fish have been found embalmed in the tombs ; but it has been dif- 
ficult to ascertain their species ; though this would not prove their sanctity, as every- 
thing found dead was embalmed and buried, to prevent its tainting the air. — 
[G. W.] 

No. V. 

9 This goose of the Nile was an emblem of the god Seb, the father of Osiris ; 
but it was not a sacred bird. It signified in hieroglyphics a " son," and occurs 
over the nomens of Pharaohs with the Sun, signifying "son of the sun." Hor- 
apollo pretends that it was so used because of its affection for its young, but though 
it does display great courage and cunning in protecting them, it was not adopted 
on that account, but from the phonetic initial of its name, s, with a line being se,"son." 
As an emblem of Seb it was connected with the great Mundane Egg, in which form the 
chaotic mass of the world was produced. Part of the 26th chapter of the funereal 
ritual translated by Dr. Hincks contains this dogma, alluded to in the Orphic Cosmo- 
gony : "Iara the Egg of the Great Cackler. I have protected the 
Great Egg laid by Seb in the world: I grow, it grows in turn: I 
live, it lives in turn : I breathe, it breathes in turn." This Mr. 
Birch shows to be used on coffins of the period about the 12th dy- 
nasty. (See Gliddon's Otia Eg. p. 83). On the Orphic Cosmogony 
and the connexion between the Egg and Chronus (Saturn, the Seb 
of Egypt), see Damascius in Cory's Fragments, p. 313; Aristophanes, 
(Birds, 100) mentions the egg produced by " black-winged night." (Cory, p. 293, 

Chap. 73, 14. 



73. They have also another sacred bird called the phoenix, 1 
which I myself have never seen, except in pictures. Indeed it 
is a great rarity even in Egypt, only coming there (according to 
the accounts of the people of Heliopolis) once in five hundred 
years, when the old phoenix dies. Its size and appearance, if it 
is like the pictures, are as follows : — The plumage is partly red, 
partly golden, while the general make and size are almost ex- 
actly that of the eagle. They tell a story of what this bird does, 
which does not seem to me to be credible : that he comes all the 
way from Arabia, and brings the parent bird, all plastered over 
with myrrh, to the temple of the Sun, and there buries the body. 
In order to bring him, they say, he first forms a ball of myrrh 
as big as he finds that he can carry ; then he hollows out the 
ball, and puts his parent inside, after which he covers over the 
opening with fresh myrrh, and the ball is then of exactly the 
same weight as at first ; so he brings it to Egypt, plastered 
over as I have said, and deposits it in the temple of the Sun. 
Such is the story they tell of the doings of this bird. 

74. In the neighbourhood of Thebes there are some sacred 
serpents 2 which are perfectly harmless. They are of small size, 

and see Orphic Hymn to Protogonus, p. 294.) As Seb and Netpe answered to Sat- 
urn and Rhea, their children Osiris and Isis, being brother and sister, answered to 
Jupiter and Juno, though they did not really bear any other resemblance to them. 
Seb and Netpe were the Earth and the Heaven above. — [G. W.] 

1 This bird I formerly supposed to be the one represented on the monuments: 
with human hands, and often with a man's head and legs, in an attitude of prayer 
(figs. 1, 2), but it is evident that Mr. Stuart Poole is right in considering the Benno 
(the bird of Osiris) the true Phoenix (fig. 3) ; and the former appears to be the 
" pure soul " of the king. Herodotus, Tacitus, and Pomp. Mela fix its return at 500 
years, which is evidently an astronomical period ; but Tacitus says some give it 
1461 years, which points to the coincidence of the 1460 intercalated with the 1461 
vague years : and this is confirmed by its being placed at an equal distance of time 
between each Sothic period (or 730 years before and after the dogstar), on the ceil- 
ing of the Memnonium. — [G. W.] 

Fig. 1 

2 The horned snake, vipera cerastes, is common in Upper Egypt, and throughout 
the deserts. It is very poisonous, and its habit of burying itself in the sand renders 
it particularly dangerous. Pliny (N. II. viii. 23) notices this habit. Herodotus is 
correct in describing it of small size, but the harmless snakes he mentions had doubt- 
less been made so ; and Diodorus very properly classes them among venomous rep- 
tiles. There is no authority from the sculptures for its being sacred, even at Thebes, 


and have two horns 3 growing out of the top of the head. These 
snakes, when they die, are buried in the temple of Jupiter, the 
god to whom they are sacred. 

75. I went once to a certain place in Arabia, almost exactly 
opposite the city of Buto, 4 to make inquiries concerning the 
winged serpents. 5 On my arrival I saw the back-bones and ribs 

though the asp is shown to have been a sacred snake. The frequent repetition of 
the cerastes in the hieroglyphics is owing to its occurring so often in "he," "Mm," 
"his," and for the letter f in other words. It is found embalmed at Thebes, like 
other reptiles and animals which have no claim to sanctity, and in ordinary tombs, 
but not in the temple of Amun. Diodorus even thinks the hawk was honoured on 
account of its hostility to these, as well as other, noxious reptiles ; and as Herodotus 
does not notice the asp, it is possible that he may have attributed to the cerastes the 
honour that really belonged to that sacred snake. The asp or Naia was the emblem 
of the goddess Ranno, and was chosen to preside over gardens, from its destroying 
rats and other vermin. Altars and offerings were placed before it, as before dragons 
in Etruria and Rome. It was also the snake of Neph or Nou, and apparently the 
representative of Agathodaemon. In hieroglyphics it signified "goddess ;" it was 
attached to the head-dresses of gods and Kings, and a circle of those snakes com- 
posed the " asp-formed crowns " mentioned in the Rosetta stone. Being the sign 
of royalty, it was called ^acriXiaKos (basilisk), " royal," equivalent to its Egyptian 
name urceus, from ouro, "king." It is still common in gardens, and called in Arabic 
Ndslver. In length it varies from 3 to 4-J- feet, and the largest I have found was 5 
ft. 11 in. It is very venomous. It resembles the Indian cobra (Naia tripudians) 
in its mode of raising itself, and expanding its breast ; but it has no "spectacles" 
on its head. If Cleopatra's death had been caused by any serpent, the small viper 
would rather have been chosen than the large asp ; but the story is disproved by 
her having decked herself in "the royal ornaments," and being found dead "with- 
out any mark of suspicion of poison on her body." Death from a serpent's bite 
could not have been mistaken ; and her vanity would not have allowed her to choose 
one which would have disfigured her in so frightful a manner. Other poisons were 
well understood and easy of access, and no boy would have ventured to carry an 
asp in a basket of figs, some of which he even offered to the guards as he passed, 
and Plutarch (Vit. Anton.) shows that the story of the '"asp was doubted. Nor is 
the statue carried in Augustus' triumph which had an asp upon it any proof of his 
belief in it, since that snake was the emblem of Egyptian royalty : the statue (or the 
crown) of Cleopatra could not have been without one, and this was probably the 
origin of the whole story. — [G. W.] 

3 The bite of the cerastes or horned snake is deadly ; but of the many serpents 
in Egypt, three only are poisonous — the cerastes, the asp or naia, and the common 
viper. Strabo (xv. p. 1004) mentions large vipers in Egypt, nearly 9 cubits long, 
but the longest asp does not exceed 6 feet, and that is very unusual. — [G. W.] 

4 This city of Buto was different from that in the Delta. Some think it was at 
Belbdys (Bubastis Agria), or at Abbaseeh. — [G. W.] 

5 The winged serpents of Herodotus have puzzled many persons from the time 
of Pausanias to the present day. Isaiah (xxx. GO) mentions the "fiery flying ser- 
pent." The Egyptian sculptures represent some emblematic snakes with bird's 
wings and human legs. The Draco volans of Linnieus has wings, which might an- 
swer to the description given by Herodotus, but it does not frequent Egypt. The 
only flying creature the ibis could be expected to attack, on its flight into Egypt, 
and for which it would have been looked upon as a particular benefactor to Egypt, 
was the locust ; and the swarms of these large destructive insects do come from the 
east. In Syria I have seen them just hatched in the spring still unable to fly ; and 
some idea of the size and destructiveness of a flight of locusts may be derived from 
the fact of a swarm settling and covering the ground for a distance of 4£ miles. 
It is singular that Herodotus should not have mentioned locusts, flights of which 

Chap. 75, 76. THE IBIS. 1()7 

of serpents in such numbers as it is impossible to describe : of 
the ribs there were a multitude of heaps, some great, some small, 
some middle-sized. The place where the bones lie is at the en- 
trance of a narrow gorge between steep mountains, which there 
open upon a spacious plain communicating with the great plain 
of Egypt. The story goes, that with the spring the winged 
snakes come flying from Arabia towards Egypt, but are met in 
this gorge by the birds called ibises, who forbid their entrance 
and destroy them all. The Arabians assert, and the Egyptians 
also admit, that it is on account of the service thus rendered 
that the Egyptians hold the ibis in so much reverence. 

76. The ibis is a bird of a deep-black colour, with legs like a 
crane ; its beak is strongly hooked, and. its size is about that of 
the landrail. This is a description of the black ibis which con- 
tends with the serpents. The commoner sort, for there are two 
quite distinct species, 6 has the head and the whole throat bare 
of feathers ; its general plumage is white, but the head and 
neck are jet black, as also are the tips of the wings and the ex- 
tremity of the tail ; in its beak and legs it resembles the other 
species. The winged serpent is shaped like the water-snake. 

are seen in winter, spring, and summer ; and among the many monsters, real ani- 
mals, and birds represented in the Egyptian paintings, so extraordinary a serpent 
could not be unnoticed. The locusts and the real existence of a Draco volans may 
have led to the story ; and, as Cuvier remarks, all that can be said is that Her- 
odotus saw a heap of bones without having ascertained, beyond report, how they 
came there. Pausanias seems to have convinced himself of their existence by be- 
lieving in a still stranger reptile, a scorpion with wings like a bat's, brought by a 
Phrygian (ix. c. 21). There is, however, no doubt that the ibis destroyed snakes; 
and Cuvier found the skin of one partly digested in the intestines of one of those 
mummied birds. Its food also consisted of beetles, which have been found in another 
specimen. See Herodotus, B. iii. ch. 108, where he describes the winged serpents 
of Arabia.— [G. W.] 

6 The first described by Herodotus as all black, was the one which fought against 
the (winged) serpents. It is the Ibis Falcinellus (Temm.) or glossy ibis. The 
colour is a reddish-brown shot with dark-green and purple; the size 1 foot from the 
breast to the end of the tail. The other is the " Numenius Ibis" or " Ibis religiosa " 
of modern naturalists, the Aboo Hannes of Bruce, which is white with black pinions 
and tail ; the head and part of the back being without feathers, as described by 
Herodotus. This is the one so frequently found embalmed in Egypt. Its body 
measures 12 inches in length, and 4-|- in diameter, and the beak G inches. The leg 
from the knee to the plant of the foot is about 4£ inches. (See Cuvier's Theory of 
the Earth, Jameson, p. 300.) Both species have a curved beak. The great ser- 
vices the ibis rendered by destroying snakes and noxious insects were the cause of 
its being in such esteem in Egypt. The stork was honoured for the same reason in 
Thessaly; and even now the Turks look upon it with such good-will that it would 
be considered a sin to kill one ; on which account it feels so secure that, in Asia 
Minor, it builds its nests on the walls and houses within reach of man ; and to the 
credit of the Turks it must be said that they treat animals in general much more 
kindly than Europeans. A similar regard is paid to storks in Holland. 

The ibis was sacred to Thoth, the Egyptian Hermes. See above, note 5 , on ch. 
67.— [G.W.] 



Book II. 

Its wings are not feathered, but resemble very closely those of 
the bat. And thus I conclude the subject of the sacred ani- 

77. With respect to the Egyptians themselves, it is to be 
remarked that those who live in the corn country, 7 devoting 
themselves, as they do, far more than any other people in the 
world, to the preservation of the memory of past actions, are the 
best skilled in history of any men that I have ever met. The 
following is the mode of life habitual to them : — For three suc- 
cessive days in each month they purge the body by means of 
emetics and clysters, which is done out of a regard for their 
health, since they have a persuasion that every disease to which 
men are liable is occasioned by the substances whereon they feed. 
Apart from any such precautions, they are, I believe, next to 

7 This is in contradistinction to the marsh-lands ; and signifies Upper Egypt, as 
it includes the city of Chemmis ; but when he says they have no vines in the country 
and only drink beer, his statement is opposed to fact, and to the ordinary habits of 
the Egyptians. In the neighbourhood of Memphis, at Thebes, and the places be- 
tween those two cities, as well as at Eileithyias, all corn-growing districts, they ate 
wheaten bread and cultivated the vine. Herodotus may, therefore, have had in 
view the corn-country, in the interior of the broad Delta, where the alluvial soil was 
not well suited to the vine, and where Sebennytus alone was noted for its wine. 
Most of the other vineyards were at Marea, and in places similarly situated near the 
edge of the desert, where the light soil was better suited to them ; though grapes 
for the table were produced in all parts of the country. Wine was universally used 
by the rich throughout Egypt, and beer supplied its place at the tables of the poor, 
not because "they had no vines in their country," but because it was cheaper; and 
the same was their reason for eating bread made of the Holcus sorghum (or Doora) 
like the peasants of modern Egypt, and not because it was " the greatest disgrace to 
eat wheaten bread." (See above, note 8 on ch. 36.) And that wine was known in 
Lower as well as Upper Egypt is shown by the Israelites^-mentioning the desert as a 
place which had " no figs, or vines, or pomegranates " in contradistinction to Egypt 
(Gen. xl. 10; Numb. xx. 5). Wines of various kinds were offered in the temples; 
and being very generally placed by the altar in glass bottles of a particular shape, 
these came to represent in hieroglyphics what they contained, and to signify " wine," 
without the word itself "erp" being men- 
tioned. It is remarkable that this word 
" erpis " is introduced by Athenaeus (Deipn. 
ii. 39 a), quoting Sappho, as the name of 
"wine: " — 

'Afxfipocrias fJ-eu KpaTTjp iKCKparo 
'Ep/xas 5' eAwj/ epirif &eo7y otVoxo7jo - ej', 

unless indeed he uses it for uKttiv, "a 
ladle," or " small jug," which the sense 
seems to require and which is in X., 425 
d. (See note on chs. 18, 37, and 60.) 
Another reading has epnev . . . olvoxovcoov. 
Athcnffius (i. p. 33 e) describes the Egyp- 
tians as much addicted to wine, on his own 
and on the authority of Dio ; and says (i. 
p. 34 a) that Hellanicus fancies the vine 
was first discovered at Plinthine, a city of Egypt. — [G. W.] 

Chap. 11. 



the Libyans, 8 the healthiest people in the world — an effect of 
their climate, in my opinion, which has no sudden changes. 
Diseases almost always attack men when they are exposed to a 
change, and never more than during changes of the weather. 
They live on bread made of spelt, which they form into loaves 
called in their own tongue cyllestis. 9 Their drink is a wine 
which they obtain from barley, 1 as they have no vines in their 
country. Many kinds of fish they eat raw, either salted or dried 
in the sun. 2 Quails 3 also, and ducks and small birds, they eat 

8 Their health was attributable to their living in the dry atmosphere of the des- 
ert, where sickness is rarely known, as the Arabs show who now live there. See 
note 6 on ch. 84.— [G. W.] 

9 Athenaeus (X. p. 418 e) says the Egyptians were great eaters of bread, and 
had a kind called Cyllestia. This he affirms on the authority of Hecata?us. He also 
speaks of a "subacid bread of the Egyptians called Cyllastis, mentioned by Aristo- 
phanes in theDanaids;" and adds, " Nicander mentions it as made of barley" 
(iii. p. 114). Hesychius says, KvWacTTis &otos tis eV AlyvirTco vwb bi&v e£ 6\vpas. — 
[G. W.] 

1 This is the oho? npiStivos of Xenophon. Diodorus (i. 34) mentions it as " a 
beverage from barley called by the Egyptians zythus" which he thinks " not much 
inferior to wine." Athenasus (i. p. 34 a ; X. p. 418 e) calls it " macerated barley ; " 
and says Aristotle supposes that men drunk with wine lie on their faces, but those 
with beer on their backs. He cites Hecatseus respecting the use of beer in Egypt, 
whose words are, ras Kp&as eis rb irofxa KUTaAfovai. I have found the residue of 
some malt at Thebes, once used for making beer. Xenophon (Anab. iv. 5) speaks 
of a sort of fermity of beer in Armenia drunk through reeds having no joints. — 
[G. W.] 

2 The custom of drying fish is frequently represented in the sculptures of Upper 
and Lower Egypt. (On the fisheries, see n. 9 ch. 149). Fishing was a favourite 
amusement of the Egyptians ; and the skill of sportsmen was shown by spearing 
fish with the bident. The fishermen by trade caught them in long drag-nets, the 

line being confined to poor people, and to those who " cast angle " for amusement; 
and a large double-handled landing-net was employed for shoals of small fry. It is 
also probable that when the inundation retired, they used the wicker trap of mod- 
ern Egypt and India. It is a basket about 2^ feet high, entirely open at the bot- 
tom, where it is about 2 feet wide, and with a smaller opening at the top about 8 
inches in diameter ; and being put down into shallow water, whatever fish is en- 
closed within it is taken out by the man who thrusts his arm through the upper ori- 
fice. See At. Eg. W. vol. iii. p. 41 and 53-68.— [G. W.] 

3 Quails were caught, both in Upper and Lower Egypt, like other birds, in large 



Book IL 

uncooked, merely first salting them. All other birds and fishes, 
excepting those which are set apart as sacred, are eaten either 
roasted or boiled. 

78. In social meetings among the rich, when the banquet is 

clap-nets and in traps (woodcuts I. and II.), and at Rhinocolura, on the edge of the 
Syrian desert, the culprits, banished by Actisanes to that spot, caught them in long 

No. II. -Note 3. 

Chap. 78, T 9. 



ended, a servant carries round to the several guests a coffin, in 
which there is a wooden image of a corpse, 4 carved and painted 
to resemble nature as nearly as possible, about a cubit or two 
cubits in length. As he shows it to each guest in turn, the ser- 
vant says, " Gaze here, and drink and be merry ; for when you 
die, such will you be." 

79. The Egyptians adhere to their own national customs, 

nets made of split reeds (Diod. i. 60). The catching, drying, and salting of birds 
are frequently represented in the sculptures. (Woodcut III.) — [G. W.] 

4 The figure introduced at supper was of a mummy in the usual form of Osiris, 
either standing, or lying on a bier, intended to warn the guests of their mortality; 



Book II. 

and adopt no foreign usages. Many of these customs are worthy 
of note : among others their song, the Linus, 5 which is sung 
under various names not only in Egypt but in Phoenicia, in Cy- 
prus, and in other places ; and which seems to be exactly the 
same as that in use among the Greeks, and by them called Linus. 
There were very many things in Egypt which filled me with 
astonishment, and this was one of them. Whence could the 
Egyptians have got the Linus ? It appears to have been sung 

and the same is described at the feast of 
Trinialchio (Petron. Satyric. c. 34). The 
original object of the custom was doubt- 
less with a view to teach men " to love 
one another, and to avoid those evils which 
tend to make them consider life too long, 
when in reality it is too short " (see Plut. 
de Is. s. 15; and Sept. Sap. Conviv. p. 
148 a) ; but the salutary advice was often 
disregarded, and the sense of it perverted 
by many who copied the custom ; as the 
"ungodly " in Judaea used it to urge men 
to enjoy the good things of this life, and 
banish the thoughts of all beyond the pres- 
ent. (Book of Wisdom, ii. 1, &c. ; Is. 
xxii. 3; lvi. 12; Eccles. ii. 24; Luke xii. 
19; and Corinth, xv. 32. Cp. Anac. Od. 
iv. and Hor. 2 Od. iii. 13.) Some have 
supposed this custom proved the Egyptians 
to be of a serious character, though it 
would rather be a necessary hint for a too 
lively people. But their view of death 
was not a gloomy one, connected as it was 
with the prospect of a happv union with 
Osiris.— [G. Vv.j 

6 This song had different names in 
Egypt, in Phoenicia, in Cyprus, and other 
places. In Greece it was called Linus, in 
Egypt Maneros. The stories told of Linus, 
the inventor of melody, and of his death, 
are mere fables ; and it is highly improbable that the death of Maneros, the son of 
the first king of Egypt, should have been recorded in the songs of Syria. Julius 
Pollux (iv. 7) says the song of Maneros was sung by the Egyptian peasants, and 
that this fabulous personage was the inventor of husbandry, an honour always given 
to Osiris — yeo>pyias efy>eT7?s, Movawv /xa^r]TT}s. Some think the "son of the first 
king " means Horus, the son of Osiris ; and the name might be Man-Hor. Indeed 
there appears in the hieroglyphics to be this legend, " Men-Re, the maker of hymns," 
which would apply to Re, the sun. Plutarch (de Is. s. 17) states that the song was 
suited to festivities and the pleasures of the table ; and adds that Maneros was not 
a name, but a complimentary mode of greeting, and a wish "that what they were 
engaged in might turn out fortunately." Pausanias (ix. 29) says that " Linus and 
Adonis were sung together by Sappho, and thinks that Homer mentions him (II. 
xviii. 570); though others refer Kivou to the flaxen cords of the lyre (on the shield 
of Achilles) :— 

Tola-iv 5' iv fiecraoKTi irais <p6pfjuyyi \tyfiy 
ifiepoev Ki&dpifc • \ivov 8* ii-nb Ka\hv IxaZe 
Ae7TTaA.€77 (pwvri • 


by them from the very earliest times. 6 For the Linus in Egyp- 
tian is called Maneros ; and they told me that Maneros was the 
only son of their first king, and that on his untimely death he 
was honoured by the Egyptians with these dirgelike strains, and 
in this way they got their first and only melody. 

80. There is another custom in which the Egyptians resem- 
ble a particular Greek people, namely the Lacedgemonians. 
Their young men, when they meet their elders in the streets, 
give way to them and step aside ; 7 and if an elder come in where 
young men are present, these latter rise from their seats. In a 
third point they differ entirely from all the nations of Grreece. 

when having gathered the grapes, they danced to the air. Athengeus (Deipn. xiv. 
p. 620 a) says, "Nymphis speaks of a youth having gone to fetch water for the 
reapers, who never returned, and was lamented by different people. In Egypt he 
was called Maneros." The name Linus was related to a1\ivov, an expression of grief 
(alAivd ftoi o-Toj/axetVe, Mosch. Id. 1), partly compounded of the usual exclamation 
al, and some think to the Hebrew lun, "to complain" or "murmur." (Cp. Exod. 
xv. 24 ; and mclinim, " murmurings ; " Numbers xiv. 27.) But the song of Linus, like 
that of Maneros, was not necessarily of grief; and Euripides (cited by Athenaeus, 
xiv. p. 619 c) says Linus and Ailinus were suited to joy also. Linus and Maneros 
were probably the genius or impersonation of song. The Egyptians now use "ya 
laylee! ya layl!" as a chorus for lively songs, meaning "0 my joy! night!" 
alluding to the wedding-night ; "ya laylee, doos, ya laylee /" "0 my joy, step, 
my joy!" alluding to the dance. Cp. Hebr. Hallel, "singing, praising," whence 
hallelu-iah.—[G. W.] 

6 The Egyptian songs and hymns were of the earliest date, and, like their know- 
ledge of painting and sculpture, were said to be 10,000 years old ; but Porphyry 
hints at the reason of their origin being attributed to Isis, for it was in order to 
ensure respect for them that " they were preserved through successive ages as the 
actual poems of that goddess." (Plato's Laws, book ii. p. 790.) Some have sup- 
posed their songs were of a mournful kind, and the character of the Egyptians to 
be the same; but the term "magis moestiores" applied to them by Ammianus Mar- 
cellinus is not consistent with their habits of buffoonery, love of caricature, and 
natural quickness, nor with the opinion of Xenophon, confirmed by Polybius (v. 81), 
who says, of all people they were the most addicted to raillery. (Cp. Her. ii. 60, 
121. See At. Eg. W. ii. p. 264, 442.) This is inherited by their successors; as 
well as " gratitude for favours conferred on them," which Diodorus (i. 90) says was 
most remarkable in the Egyptians. — [G. W.] 

7 A similar respect is paid to age by the Chinese and Japanese, and even by the 
modern Egyptians. In this the Greeks, except the Lacedaemonians, were wanting, 
and the well-known instance at the theatre, mentioned by Plutarch, agrees with what 
Herodotus says of them. The Jews were commanded to " rise up before the hoary 
head and honour the face of the old man " (Levit. xix. 32). The mode of bowing 
with their hand extended towards the knee agrees with the sculptures: one hand 
was then placed on the other shoulder or on the heart, or on the mouth, to keep 
the breath from the face of a superior. (See woodcut in note 6 to ch. 177.) Some 
even prostrated themselves on the ground before great personages, "in obeisance 
bowing themselves to the earth " (Gen. xlii. 26, 28), and knelt or " bowed the knee " 
before them, as the people were ordered to do before Joseph (Gen. xli. 43). And 
it is worthy of remark that the word " abrek" or "berek" is the name applied in 
Arabic to the kneeling of a camel to the present day. (Cp. rukbeh, "knee," baraka, 
a " blessing," from kneeling in prayer.) Before a king, or the statue of a god, they 
often held up both arms, and uttered an exclamation, probably resembling the Io 
triumphe, and Io Bacche, of later times. — [G. W.] 

Vol. II.— 8 



Book II. 

Instead of speaking to each other when they meet in the streets, 
they make an obeisance, sinking the hand to the knee. 

81. They wear a linen tunic fringed about the legs, 8 and 

8 The great use of linen has been noticed above (see n. 1 ch. 37). The fringes 
were the ends of the threads (see woodcut No. 1, figs. 7, 9, in ch. 37). In some wo- 
men's dresses the fringes were also left, but these were also more frequently hemmed. 
A shirt, given by Professor Rosellini (below, No. I. fig. 1), has the fringes. The same 
custom was adopted by the Israelites (Num. xv. 38), who were ordered to sew a blue 
riband on the fringe of the border ; which calls to mind the blue border dyed with in- 
digo found on some Egyptian linen, though that of the Israelites was intended to pre- 
vent its tearing. The woollen upper garment was only worn in cold weather (see At. 
Eg. W. vol. iii. p. 344 to 351), and the prejudice against its use in sacred places is 






No. I. 

perhaps the reason of its not being represented in the paintings. The name Cala- 
siris is supposed to be Klashr (KAaap). The most usual dresses of men are 
these : — 

4 / l 6 t / 6 , ,7 

No. II. 

Chap. 81, 82. 



called calasiris ; over this they have a white woollen garment 
thrown on afterwards. Nothing of woollen, however, is taken 
into their temples or buried with them, as their religion forbids 
it. Here their practice resembles the rites called Orphic and 
Bacchic, but which are in reality Egyptian and Pythagorean ; J 
for no one initiated in these mysteries can be buried in a wool- 
len shroud, a religious reason being assigned for the observance. 
82. The Egyptians likewise discovered to which of the gods 
each month and day is sacred ; l and found out from the day of 

For those of the priesthood, see above n. 1 ch. 37. The " white " sandal (<paiKas\ 
said to be worn by the Egyptian (and Athenian) priests, is perhaps of late time. — 
[G. W.] 

The fact of these, the Bacchic, and the Pythagorean being the same as the 
Egyptian, sufficiently proves whence they were derived. See above, note 6 on ch. 
51._[G. W.] 

1 This may partly be traced in the names of some of the months, as Thoth, 
Athor, and Pachons; and on a ceiling of the Memnonium at Thebes, and on another 
at Edfoo, each has a god to which it belongs. Some suppose they indicate the 
festivals of the gods; but this would limit the festivals to twelve in the year. It is, 
however, singular that the months are not called by those names, but are designated, 
as usual, as the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th months of the three seasons. (See n. on ch. 
4 in the Ap., ch. ii.) The Romans also made their twelve gods preside over the 
months ; and the days of the week, when introduced in late times, received the 
names of the sun and moon and five planets, which have been retained to the pres- 
ent day. The names of gods were also affixed to each day in the Egyptian alma- 
nacs, according to Cherasmon, in the same manner as those of saints in the modern 
calendar. The Egyptians divided the year into 12 months of 30 days, from the 
earliest times of which we have any re- 
cord ; and the fabulous reign of Osiris, 28 
years, appears to have been taken from the 
7 days of 4 weeks, or 4 weeks of years, 
as the period of Triacontaeterides, of 30 
years, was from the month of 30 days. 
Dion Cassius (xxxvii. 18), too, distinctly 
states that " the practice of referring the 
days of the week to the 7 planets began 
among the Egyptians." The week of 7 
days (sheba, 22TD) is mentioned at the pe- 
riod of the Creation, and it continued to 
be used in the time of patriarchs (Gen. 
vii. 4 ; xxix. 27). It was probably of very 
early use among the Egyptians also, judg- 
ing from the 7 days' fete of Apis and other 
hebdomadal divisions ; but they generally 
make mention of decades or tens of days, 
which are still in use among the Chinese. 
(On the use of 7 days in Egypt, see n. 
on ch. 109 in Ap. ch. vii.) The Egyptians 
had 12 hours of night and 12 of day, and 
each had its peculiar genius or goddess, 
represented with a star on her head, called 
Nau, " hour." Night was considered older 
than day, as darkness preceded light, and 
" the evening and the morning were the 
first day." The expression " night and 
day," is still used in the East, and our Fig. 1. Of day. Fig. 2. Of night. 


a man's birth, what he will meet with in the course of his life, 2 
and how he will end his days, and what sort of man he will he 
— discoveries whereof the Greeks engaged in poetry have made a 
use. The Egyptians have also discovered more prognostics than 
all the rest of mankind besides. Whenever a prodigy takes 
place, they watch and record the result ; then, if anything sim- 
ilar ever happens again, they expect the same consequences. 

83. With respect to divination, they hold that it is a gift 
which no mortal possesses, but only certain of the gods ; 3 thus 
they have an oracle of Hercules, one of Apollo, of Minerva, of 
Diana, of Mars, and of Jupiter. Besides these, there is the 
oracle of Latona at Buto, which is held in much higher repute 
than any of the rest. The mode of delivering the oracles is not 
uniform, but varies at the different shrines. 

" fortnight " points to an old custom of counting nights instead of days. The no- 
tion that the Egyptians had not the 12 hours of day and of night in the time of 
Herodotus is erroneous, as they occur in a tomb of the time of Psammetichus II., 
and in the tombs of the 20th Dynasty at Thebes. The word "hour" is said to be 
found as early as the 5th Dynasty (see Lepsius, Band iii. Abth. ii. Bl. 72, 76), 
and with the name of King Assa. — [G. W.] 

2 Horoscopes were of very early use in Egypt (Iambi. 8. 4), as well as the inter- 
pretation of dreams ; and Cicero (De Div. i. 1) speaks of the Egyptians and Chaldees 
predicting future events, as well as a man's destiny at his birth, by their observations 
of the stars. This was done by them, as the monuments show, by observing the 
constellations that appeared on the eastern horizon at the moment of his birth, or 
any event they wished to decide about, took place. The fallacy of predicting a 
particular death from the "ascendant" at the time of any one's birth has been well 
exposed by Cicero, who asks, " Were all those who fell at Cannae born under the 
same constellation, for they had all one and the same death?" (De Div. ii. 47.) 
Interpreters of dreams were often resorted to in Egypt (Exod. xli. 8); and Diodorus 
(i. 25) says the prayers of the devout were rewarded fn a dream by an indication of 
the remedies an illness required. Cicero (De Fato, 6) speaks of the belief that 
" any one born at the rising of the Dogstar could not be drowned in the sea." — 
[G. W.] 

* Yet the Egyptians sought " to the idols, and to the charmers, and to them 
that had familiar spirits, and to the wizards " (Is. xix. 3). Herodotus probably 
means that none but oracles gave the real answer of the deity ; and this would not 
prevent the "prophets" and "magicians" pretending to this art, like the ixolvtsis 
of Greece. To the Israelites it was particularly forbidden " to use divination, to be 
an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with 
familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer." (Deut. xviii. 10, 11.) It is singu- 
lar that the Hebrew word nahash, "to use enchantments," is the same as the Arabic 
for "serpent." A Gnostic Papyrus in the British Museum, supposed to be of the 
2nd century, and found in Egypt, mentions divination "through a hoy with a lamp, 
a bowl, and a pit," very like what is now practised in Egypt and Barbary; and the 
employment of boys of old is mentioned by Origen and others. It also contains 
spells for obtaining power over spirits, for discovering a thief, for commanding 
another man's actions, for obtaining any wish, for preventing anything, &c. Others 
in the Ley den Museum contain recipes for good fortune, for procuring dreams, for 
making a ring to bring good fortune and success in every enterprise, for causing 
separation between man and wife, giving restless nights, for making oneself loved, 
&c. Magical tricks were practised of old also (Exod. vii. 11), and they probably 
became more general in later corrupt times. (See Publ. Cambridge Ant. Soc. Svo. 
No. 2.) Apuleius also mentions the magic of Egypt. — [G. W.J 



84. Medicine is practised among them 4 on a plan of sep- 
aration ; each physician treats a single disorder, and no 

4 Not only was the study of medicine of very early date in Egypt, but medical 
men there were in such repute that they were sent for at various times from other 
countries. Their knowledge of medicine is celebrated by Homer (Od. iv. 229), who 
describes Polydamna, the wife of Thonis, as giving medicinal plants " to Helen, in 
Egypt, a country producing an infinite number of drugs where each physi- 
cian possesses knowledge above all other men." " virgin daughter of Egypt," 
says Jeremiah (lxvi. 11), "in vain shalt thou use many medicines." Cyrus and 
Darius both sent to Egypt for medical men (Her. iii. 1. 132) ; and Pliny (xix. 5) says 
post mortem examinations were made in order to discover the nature of maladies. 
Doctors received their salaries from the treasury ; but they were obliged to con- 
form in the treatment of a patient to the rules laid down in their books, his death 
being a capital crime, if he was found to have been treated in any other way. But 
deviations from, and approved additions to, the sacred prescriptions were occasion- 
ally made ; and the prohibition was only to prevent the experiments of young prac- 
titioners, whom Pliny considers the only persons privileged to kill a man with 
impunity. Aristotle indeed says " the Egyptian physicians were allowed after the 
third day to alter the treatment prescribed by authority, and even before, taking 
upon themselves the responsibility" (Polit. iii. 11). Experience gradually taught 
them many new remedies ; and that they had adopted a method (of no very old 
standing in modern practice) of stopping teeth with gold is proved by some mum- 
mies found at Thebes. 

In Fig. 2 is a dedication " to Amun-re." 

Besides the protection of society from the pretensions of quacks, the Egyptians 
provided that doctors should not demand fees on a foreign journey or on military 
service, when patients were treated free of expense (Diod. i. 82); and we may con- 
clude that they were obliged to treat the poor gratis, on consideration of the allow- 
ance paid them as a body by government. This has again become the custom in 
(Modern) Egypt. Herodotus (ii. 77) and Diodorus (i. 82) mention some methods of 
treatment ; but poor and superstitious people sometimes had recourse to dreams, to 
wizards, to donations to sacred animals, and to exvotos to the gods; and the model 
of an arm, a leg, an eye, or an ear, often recorded the accidental cure and the 
evident credulity of an individual, as in some countries at the present day. Charms 
were also written for the credulous, some of which have been found on small pieces 
of papyrus, which were rolled up and worn as by the modern Egyptians. 

Accoucheurs were women; which we learn from Exodus i. 15, and from the 
sculptures, as in modern Egypt. The Bedouins of the desert still retain a know- 

118 MOURNING. Book II 

more : 5 thus the country swarms with medical practitioners, some 
undertaking to cure diseases of the eye, others of the head, 
others again of the teeth, others of the intestines, and some those 
which are not local. 

85. The following is the way in which they conduct their 
mournings 7 and their funerals : — On the death in any house of a 
man of consequence, forthwith the women of the family beplas- 
ter their heads, and sometimes even their faces, with mud ; and 
then, leaving the body indoors, sally forth and wander through 
the city, with their dress fastened by a band, and their bosoms 
bare, beating themselves as they walk. All the female relations 
join them and do the same. The men too, similarly begirt, 
beat their breasts separately. When these ceremonies are over, 
the body is carried away to be embalmed. 

86. There are a set of men in Egypt who practise the art of 

ledge of the properties of the medicinal plants that grew there, with some 
of which they supply the druggists of the towns. It is to the Arabs, who 
derived it from Egypt and India, that Europe is indebted for its first 
acquaintance with the science of medicine, which grew up in the school of 
Salerno ; and a slight memento of it is still retained in the Arab symbols used by 
our chemists. Pliny (vii. 56) says, "the study of medicine was claimed as an 
Egyptian invention ; by others attributed to Arabas, the son of Babylon and Apollo." 
— [G. W.] 

5 The medical profession being so divided (as is the custom in modern Europe), 
indicates a great advancement of civilisation, as well as of medicinal knowledge. 
The Egyptian doctors were of the sacerdotal order, like the embalmers, who are 
called (in Genesis 1. 2) "Physicians," and were " commanded by Joseph to embalm 
his father." They were of the class called Pastophori, who, according to Clemens 
(Strom, lib. 6) being physicians, were expected to know about all things relating to 
the body, and diseases, and remedies, contained in the six last sacred books of Her- 
mes. Manetho tells us that Athothes, the second king of Egypt, who was a physi- 
cian, wrote the anatomical books ; and his name, translated liermogenes, may have 
been the origin of the tradition that ascribed them to Hermes, the Egyptian Thoth. 
Or the fable may mean that they were the result of intellect personified by Thoth, 
or Hermes. It is difficult to understand how their having "physicians for particular 
members of the body, and for particular diseases, affords another proof how rigidly 
the subdivisions of the castes were kept separate," as Heeren imagines, for they were 
of the same class ; and our modern custom does not certainly lead to such an in- 
ference. In the Hermaic books a whole chapter was devoted to diseases of the eye. 
-[G. W.] 

6 Pliny thinks the Egyptians were subject to numerous diseases (xxvi. 1) ; but 
in this he differs from Herodotus (ii. 77). Luxury, and disregard to the regimen 
they followed of old, may have caused a change in later times, when leprosy, ele- 
phantiasis, and other diseases became common in Egypt ; 

" Est Elephas morbus, qui propter flumina Nili 
Gignitur ^Egypto iu media, neque prceterea usquam." — Ltjcbet. vi. 560. 

for Herodotus (ch. 77) shows how careful they were of health, and Diodorus (i. 82) 
says, " frepairevovai ra awpLara KXvafJ.o'is, Kal vri<TT(lais, xai e/j.(rois," as well as by ab- 
stinence ; being persuaded that the majority of disorders proceed from indigestion 
and excess in eating. — [G. "W.] 

7 The custom of weeping, and throwing dust on their heads, is often represented 
on the monuments ; when the men and women have their dresses fastened by a 

Chap. 85, 86. 



embalming, and make it their proper business. These persons, 
when a body is brought to them, show the bearers various models 
of corpses, 8 made in wood, and painted so as to resemble nature. 

band round the waist, the breast being bare, as described by Herodotus. For 
seventy days (Gen. 1. 3), or, according to some, seventy-two days, the family 
mourned at home, singing the funeral 
dirge, very much as it is now done in 
Egypt ; and during this time they ab- 
stained from the bath, wine, delicacies of 
the table, and rich clothing (Diod. i. 91); 
and even after the body had been removed 
to the tomb it was not unusual for the near 
relations to exhibit tokens of grief, when 
the liturgies, or services for the dead, 
were performed by the priests, by beating 
themselves on the breast in presence of 
the mummy. "Smiting themselves on the 
breast 1 ' was a common token of grief in the 
East (Luke xxiii. 48) which continues to 

the present day. (See woodcut above, and in n. 9 ch. 58 ; and comp. At. Eg. W. 
vol. v. p. 259.) The Egyptians did not "cut themselves" in mourning; this was a 
Syrian custom, and forbidden to the Jews. — [G. W.] 

8 These were in the form of Osiris, and not only those of the best kind, but all 
the mummies were put up in the same position, representing the deceased as a 
figure of Osiris, those only excepted which were of the very poor people, and which 
were merely wrapped up in mats, or some other common covering. Even the small 
earthenware and other figures of the dead were in the same form of that deity, 
whose name Herodotus, as usual, had scruples about mentioning, from having been 
admitted to a participation of the secrets of the lesser Mysteries. Diodorus says 
(i. 91), "The most expensive mode cost a talent of silver (nearly 250/.), the second 
twenty-two mina) (90/.), and the third was very cheap. When the price had been 
agreed upon, and the body given to the embalmers, the scribe marked on the left 
side of the body the extent of the incision to be made, and then the ' paraschistes 1 
(dissector) cut open as much of the flesh as the law permitted with an Ethiopian 
stone (Hint), and immediately ran away, pursued by those present with bitter ex- 
ecrations, who pelted him with stones. One then introduced his hand, and took out 
all the viscera, except the kidneys and heart ; another cleansed them with palm 
wine, and aromatic preparations, and lastly, after having applied oil of cedar, and 


The most perfect is said to be after the manner of him whom I 
do not think it religious to name in connexion with such a mat- 
ter ; the second sort is inferior to the first, and less costly ; the 
third is the cheapest of all. All this the embalmers explain, 
and then ask in which way it is wished that the corpse should 
be prepared. The bearers tell them, and having concluded their 
bargain, take their departure, while the embalmers, left to them- 
selves, proceed to their task. The mode of embalming, according 
to the most perfect process, is the following : — They take first a 
crooked piece of iron, 9 and with it draw out the brain through 

other things to the whole body for upwards of thirty days, they added myrrh, cin- 
namon, and various drugs for preserving the body, and it was restored to the friends, 
so well preserved that every feature might be recognised." On this it may be ob- 
served, 1st, that the opening in the left side is perfectly correct; and over it the 
sacred eye represented on a flat piece of lead, or wax, was placed ; and through it 
the viscera were returned. Four wax figures, of the four genii of Amenti, were also 
put in with them, when the viscera were not deposited in the vases, which are so 
often found in the tombs. Of these four vases one had a lid representing the head 
of a man, another had that of a Cynocephalus, another of a jackal, and the fourth 
of a hawk ; and in these the viscera of first-class mummies were generally deposited. 
The first held the stomach and large intestines ; the second the small intestines ; the 
third the lungs and heart (showing Diodorus to be in error) ; and the fourth the 
gall-bladder and liver. 2nd. Herodotus and Diodorus are not justified in confining 
the modes of embalming to three, since the mummies show a far greater variety, 
and the prices must have varied in like manner. 3rd. The execrations against the 
" paraschistes " could only have been a form, if really uttered, which seems very 
doubtful. 4th. The features could not be recognised, being covered with numer- 
ous folds of cloth, and the only face seen was that of the painted mummy case. 
The statement of Porphyry that the intestines were thrown into the river, after an 
invocation to the sun, is unworthy of belief. Everything belonging to the body 
was buried, and apparently even the sawdust, used for absorbing the water that 
washed the intestines, which was put up into small linen bags, and deposited in 
earthenware jars. — [G. W\] * 

9 The mummies afford ample evidence of the brain having been extracted 
through the nostrils ; and the " drugs " were employed to clear out what the in- 
strument could not touch. There can be no doubt that iron was used in Egypt, 
though it is not preserved there, nor in any other country, beyond a certain time. 
The blue colour of swords, and other weapons in the painted tombs of Thebes, shows 
that the Egyptians used iron, or steel, as well as bronze ; and this last was also em- 
ployed by the Romans and Etruscans, long after iron implements and arms were 
common. Iron was known in the days of Job (xxviii. 2); Moses mentions Tubal 
Cain the instructor of every artificer in brass and iron (Gen. iv. 22), and compares 
Egypt to the " iron furnace" (Deut. iv. 20) ; Og King of Bashan, who lived about 
1450 b. c, had a bedstead of iron (Deut. iii. 11); and Homer shows the quenching 
of iron to caseharden it was well known when he adopts it as a simile, and compares 
the hissing noise produced by piercing the eye of Polyphemus to the effect of plung- 
ing the heated metal in water. (Od. ix. 39L) Thrasyllus (Clem. Strom, i.) agrees 
with the Arundelian marbles in supposing that iron was known long before the 
Trojan war ; and it would be inconsistent to suppose that the most civilised nation 
of those days could have been ignorant of it even if the paintings of Thebes did not 
prove its use. We even see butchers sharpening their knives on a steel fastened 
to their apron; and weapons of that blue-coloured metal were represented in com- 
mon use long before the Trojan war. In metallurgy the Egyptians possessed some 
secrets scarcely known to us; for they had the means of enabling copper to cut stone 
without hardening it by an alloy, and of giving to bronze blades the elasticity of 




the nostrils, thus getting rid of a portion, while the skull is 
cleared of the rest by rinsing with drugs ; next they make a cut 
along the flank with a sharp Ethiopian stone, 1 and take out the 
whole contents of the abdomen, which they then cleanse, wash- 
ing it thoroughly with palm- wine, 2 and again frequently with an 

steel, with great hardness and sharpness of edge. In Asia the Chalybes were noted 
for their iron works, by which they obtained great profits (Xenoph. Anab. s. v.), 

and Pliny (vii. 56) ascribes the invention of steel to the Idaei Dactyli of Crete. — 
[G. W.] 

1 Ethiopian stone either is black flint, or an Ethiopian agate, the use of which 
was the remnant of a very primitive custom. Flints were often employed in Egypt 
for tipping arrows, in lieu of metal heads. Stone knives have been found in Egypt, 
which many people had, as the Britons and others, and even the Romans (Liv. i. 24.) 
The Ethiopians (Her. vii. 69) had reed arrows tipped with agate, or pebbles, " on 
which seals were cut," and which, known to us as " Egyptian pebbles," are in great 
abundance in Dongola and other districts. (See my n. onB. vii. ch. 69.) The knife 
used in Egypt for sacrificing was generally of tempered iron, exactly like that of 
the Romans (so often represented on their altars), one of which, in my possession, 
is 1 \\ inches long, by 2 in the broadest part. (Fig. 4.) — [G. W.] 

2 The wine and pith (jumdr, or kulb, "heart," in Arabic) are mentioned by 
Xenophon. (Anab. ii. 3.) He is right in saying that when taken from it the tree 
withers. In the Oasis they still make this wine, which they call lowbgeh. They 

122 USE 0F NATRUM. Book II 

infusion of pounded aromatic s. After this they fill the cavity 
with the purest bruised myrrh, with cassia, and every other sort 
of spicery 3 except frankincense, and sew up the opening. Then 
the body is placed in natrum 4 for seventy days, 5 and covered 
entirely over. After the expiration of that space of time, which 
must not be exceeded, the body is washed, and wrapped round, 
from head to foot, with bandages of fine linen cloth, 6 smeared 
over with gum, which is used generally by the Egyptians in the 

merely tap the centre of the date tree, where the branches grow, and the juice runs 
off into a vase fastened there to receive it. — [G. W.] 

3 The " spicery, and balm, and myrrh," carried by the Ishmaelites (or Arabs) 
to Egypt were principally for the embalmers, who were doubtless supplied regularly 
with them. (Gen. xxxvii. 25.) Other caravans, like the Medianite merchantmen 
(Gen. xxxvii. 28), visited Egypt for the purposes of trade ; and " the spice mer- 
chants" are noticed (1 Kings x. 15) in Solomon's time. See my n. B. iii. ch. 107. 
-[G. W.] 

4 Not nitre , but the subcarbonate of soda, which abounds at the natron lakes in 
the Libyan desert, and at El Hegs in Upper Egypt. This completed the usual mode 
of embalming ; but some few appear to have been prepared with wax and tanning, 
by which the limbs were less rigid, and retained great flexibility. Dr. Granville 
has made some interesting experiments on preserving bodies by that process, in 
imitation of one brought from Egypt, probably of late time ; for a description of 
which I refer to his work. Mr. Pettigrew also (p. 73) mentions a child preserved 
with wax.— [G. W.] 

5 This included the whole period of mourning. The embalming only occupied 
forty days (Gen. 1. 3); Diodorus says "upwards of thirty." Both seventy and seventy- 
two days are mentioned as the full number, the first being ten weeks of seven days, 
or seven decads; the other 12x6=72, the duodecimal calculation being also used 
in Egypt. 

The name mummy is supposed to be an Arabic word, moomia, from mum, " wax." 
In Egyptian it is called salt ; the bier A, Gol. 

The origin of embalming has been ingeniously derived from their first merely 
burying in the sand, impregnated with natron and other salts, which dried and 
preserved the body ; which natural process they afterwards imitated — drugs, and 
subsequently bitumen, being later improvements. Bitumen does not appear to 
have been generally used before the 18th Dynasty. The dried body of the supposed 
Mycerinus, however, will be no evidence that the simple salting process was retained 
till his time, unless the body and woollen dress are proved to be ancient Egyptian. 
(See Gliddon's Horae ^Egvptiaca? and M. Eg. W. vol. i. p. 348.) On bitumen, see n. 
9 onB. i. ch. 179.— [G/w. ] 

6 Not cotton. The microscope has decided (what no one ever doubted in 
Egypt) that the mummy-cloths are linen. The question arose in consequence of 
the use of the word byssus. Pausanias unequivocally describes it as cotton, and 
growing in Elis. On the other hand, the Hebrew shash is translated Byssus in the 
Septuagint version, and in our own "fine linen" (Ex. xxiv. 4). Many consider it 
linen, and Julius Pollux calls it a sort of Indian flax. Herodotus a ir;iin speaks of 
the (linen) mummy-cloths as "byssine sindon," and both he and J. Pollux call cotton 
"tree wool." Some indeed think this last was silk ; but Pliny (xi.\. 1) shows that 
the |u\oj/ of Herodotus was cotton, — "Superior pars jEgypti in Arabiam vergens 
gignit fruticem quern aliqui gossipion vocant, plures xylon ; et ideo lina inde facta 
xylina." The confusion appears to have arisen partly from the conventional use of 
the names of the various cloths. Sindon was the general term for every p»e stuff; 
so that it was even applied to woollen fabrics. Josephus speaks of sindon made of 
hair, and the ark had one covering of linen, and another of sindon made of goat's 
hair (Antiq. 3, 5, 4). Sindon was therefore any stuff of a very fine texture (and 
might be applied to modern Cashmere and Jerbee shawls, as well as to muslin and 
cambric). Byssus in its real sense was cotton, but it was also a general term (like 




of linen, 


place of glue, and in this state it is given back to the relations, 
who enclose it in a wooden case which they have had made for the 
purpose, shaped into the figure of a man. Then fastening the 
case, they place it in a sepulchral chamber, 7 upright against the 
wall. Such is the most costly way of embalming the dead. 

our word "linen"), and Josephus speaks of byssine sindon made 
cotton linen." With Pliny, on the con- 
trary, linen (linteum or linum) is the gen- 
eral term for all stuffs, including cotton 
(xix.l), and he even calls asbestus " linen." 
" Komash," properly " linen," is used in 
the same way by the Arabs for all stuffs. 
It is also reasonable to suppose that an- 
cient, like modern people, may have been 
mistaken sometimes about the exact qual- 
ity of the stuffs they saw, since the micro- 
scope was required to set us right. Sindon 
may possibly be taken from " India," or 
from the Egyptian " shent " (see n. 1 on ch. 
105). Clemens thinks byssine garments 
were invented in the time of Semiramis, 
king of Egypt (Strom, i. p. 301). The 
Egyptians employed gum for the bands, or 
mummy-cloths, but not for other purposes 
where glue was required. They also stain- 
ed them with carthamus or safflower. The 
custom of swathing the body with band- 
ages was common also to the Jews, as well 
as the process of embalming it with spices 
(Luke xxiii. 56 ; John xix. 40). Their 
mode of bandaging the dead body is shown 
in the case of Lazarus (John xi. 44) ; and 
the early Italian masters have represented 
it more correctly than many of later time. 
The legs, however, were bandaged separ- 
ately, as in the Grseco-Egyptian mummies, 
since he " came forth" out of the tomb. — 

This was not in their own houses, 
but, as Herodotus says, in a room made 
for the purpose, which was attached to 
the tomb. In the floor of this room the 
pit was sunk, often to the depth of more 
than 40 feet, where, after certain services 
had been performed by a priest before the 
mummy, it was finally deposited. In the 
meantime it was kept (as he says, upright) 
in a moveable closet, and occasionally 
taken out to receive those priestly bene- 
dictions ; or stood within an open canopy 
for the same purpose, the relations weep- 
ing before it. A less expensive kind of 
tomb had not the chamber, but only the 
pit, which was properly the place of sep- 
ulture, though the name " tomb " is always 
applied to the apartment above. The 
coffin or mummy-case was placed at the 
bottom, or in a lateral chamber or recess, 
at " the side of the pit." Those who were 



Book II. 

87. If persons wish to avoid expense, and choose the second 
process, the following is the method pursued : — Syringes are 
filled with oil made from the cedar-tree, which is then, without 
any incision 8 or disembowelling, injected into the abdomen. 
The passage by which it might be likely to return is stopped, 
and the body laid in natrum the prescribed number of days. 
At the end of the time the cedar-oil is allowed to make its 
escape ; and such is its power that it brings with it the whole 
stomach and intestines in a liquid state. The natrum mean- 
while has dissolved the flesh, and so nothing is left of the dead 
body but the skin and the bones. It is returned in this con- 
dition to the relatives, without any further trouble being bestowed 
upon it. 

88. The third method of embalming, 9 which is practised in 
the case of the poorer classes, is to clear out the intestines with 
a clyster, 1 and let the body lie in natrum the seventy days, 

considered worthy were buried in the tomb they had made, or purchased, at a very 
high price ; but wicked people were forbidden the privilege, as if undeserving of 
burial in consecrated ground. — [G. W.] 

No. II. 

8 Second-class mummies without any incision are found in the tombs ; but the 
opening in the side was made in many of them, and occasionally even in those of 
an inferior quality ; so that it was not exclusively confined to mummies of the first 
class. There were, in fact, many gradations in each class. The mummies of Greeks 
may generally be distinguished by the limbs being each bandaged separately. On 
Embalming, see Rouger's Notice sur les Embaumemens des Anciens Egyptiens ; Petti- 
grew's History of the Egyptian Mummies; and At. Eg. W. vol. v. p. 451 to the end. 
— [G. W.] 

9 Of these, as of the others, there were several kinds, the two principal ones 
being " 1. Those salted and filled with bituminous matter less pure than the others; 
2. Those simply salted." Others, indeed, were prepared m more simple ways ; 
some were so loosely put up in bad cloths that they are scarcely to be separated 
from the stones and earth in which they are buried, and others were more carefully 
enveloped in bandages, and arranged one over the other in one common tomb, often 
to the number of several hundred. — [G. W.] 

1 The word used here (avpfiuir]) is the name of the modern fgl, or raphanus 


after which it is at once given to those who come to fetch it 

89. The wives of men of rank are not given to be embalmed 
immediately after death, nor indeed are any of the more beau- 
tiful and valued women. It is not till they have been dead 
three or four days that they are carried to the embalmers. 
This is done to prevent indignities from being offered them. It 
is said that once a case of this kind occurred : the man was de- 
tected by the information of his fellow- workman. 

90. Whensoever any one, Egyptian or foreigner, has lost 
his life by falling a prey to a crocodile, or by drowning in the 
river, the law compels the inhabitants of the city near which 
the body is cast up to have it embalmed, and to bury it in one 
of the sacred repositories with all possible magDificence. 2 No 
one may touch the corpse, not even any of the friends or rela- 
tives, but only the priests of the Nile, 3 who prepare it for burial 
with their own hands — regarding it as something more than the 
mere body of a man — and themselves lay it in the tomb. 

91. The Egyptians are averse to adopt Greek customs, or, 
in a word, those of any other nation. This feeling is almost 
universal among them. At Chemmis, 4 however, which is a large 

sativus (var. edulis) of Linnasus (see n. 6 on ch. 125) ; but the liquid here mentioned 
seems rather to be a powerful cleansing preparation. — [G. W.] 

2 The law which obliged the people to embalm the body of any one found dead, 
and to bury it in the most expensive manner, was a police, as well as a sanatory, 
regulation. It was a fine on the people for allowing a violent death, even by acci- 
dent, to occur in their district; and with the same object of protecting life, they 
made it a crime to witness an attempt to murder, or even a personal attack of any 
kind, without endeavouring to prevent it, or at least laying an information and pros- 
ecuting the offender. It was not "because the body was something more than 
human ;" but to ensure the proper mode of embalming, by having the money paid 
at once to the priests, and to prevent any evasion of the expense. — [G. W.] 

3 Herodotus would lead us to infer that every city had its priests of the Nile ; 
but this was probably only when situated near its banks, as we do not find any of 
these Nile temples. 

The city of Nilopolis, where the god Nilus was greatly worshipped, was in mid- 
dle Egypt, in the province of Heptanomis (afterwards called Arcadia, from the son 
of Theodosius). At Silsilis, too, Nilus (or Hapi-moou) was greatly honoured. 
Silsilis is remarkable for its large quarries of sandstone, which was used to build 
nearly all the temples of Egypt, and for having been the place where the Nile burst 
the barrier of rock, and lowered its level throughout its course southward of that 
spot. (See n. on ch. 13, in App. ch. iv.) The Niloa, according to Heliodorus 
(yEthiop. lib. ix.), was one of the principal festivals of Egypt. It was celebrated 
about the winter solstice, when the Nile began to rise ; and Libanius pretends that 
the rites m ere thought of so much importance, that unless performed properly, the 
river would not rise to the proper height. It was celebrated by men and women in 
the capital of each nome ; which seems to argue, like the statement of Herodotus, 
that the god Nilus had a temple in every large city ; and a wooden statue of the 
river god was carried in procession through the villages on that occasion. — [G. W.] 

4 Khem, the god of Chemmis, or Khemmo, being supposed to answer to Pan, 
this city was called Panopolis by the Greeks and Romans. The lion-headed goddess 


city in the Thebaic canton, near Neapolis, 5 there is a square en- 
closure sacred to Perseus, son of Danae. Palm trees grow all 
round the place, which has a gateway of stone of an unusual 
size, surmounted by two colossal statues, 6 also in stone. Inside 

Thriphis shared the honours of the sanctury with Khem, and is mentioned in a Greek 
inscription there of the 12th year of Trajan, when the restored or newly-built temple 
was finished {<TvveT(\4o-&vj). Khem was the generative principle, or universal nature. 
His name resembles that of "Egypt, 1 ' which Plutarch tells us was called Chemi, 
"from the blackness of the soil," and was the same word applied to the "black" or 
pupil " of the eye." (See n. 5 on ch. 15.) This is confirmed by the hieroglyph- 


ica ; Khem, Chemi, or Khemo 


signifying "Egypt," and corresponding to the "land of Ham," or Khem. It is 
singular that this town should have had the old name of the country, and another, 
Coptos, have had that of Egypt, which is Koft, or Gypt, with the "Ai n prefixed. 
"Egypt "is not found in hieroglyphics as the name of the country; nor "Nile" as 
that of the river. The ancient Chemmis (or Khemi) is retained in the modern 
Ekhmim, the inhabitants of which were famed of old as linen manufacturers 
and workers in stone. Chemi, "Egypt," was the origin of the word alchemy 
(the black art) and of chemistry. The white bull accompanies Khem, as in the 
procession at Medeenet Haboo, and this accords with the representation of the 
Indian god who presides over generation mounted on a white bull. (Sir W. Jones, 
vol. i. p. 256.)-— [G. W.] 

5 The "neighbouring Xeapolis" is at least ninety miles further up the river, and 
*ixty in a direct line. It has been succeeded by the modern Kench, a name taken 
from the Greek /cau/77 ttoXis, the "Newtown" of those days. All the Egyptians had 
an aversion for the customs of the Greeks, as of all strangers; and it is difficult to 
understand how the people of Chemmis should have had a different feeling towards 
them. The stories of the Greek Perseus having visited Egypt on his way to Libya, and 
of his having instituted games at Chemmis, are fables, as is that in Book vii. ch. 61, 
of his having given his name to the Persians. But there may have been an Egyp- 
tian god, a character of the sun, whom the Greeks supposed to be their hero; and 
the monster Medusa, whose head Perseus cut off, evidently derived its form from 
the common Typhonian figure of Egypt. (Cp. Diodorus, iii. 69.) The record of a 
colony having gone to Greece from Egypt ("Khemi ") may have led to the story 
about the people of Chemmis having a friendly feeling towards the Greeks ; as that 
of Perseus having married Astarte, the daughter of Belus, may point to some 
intercourse with Syria. "Perseus, according to the Persians, was an Assyrian." 
There is a curious connexion between Perseus and Pharas (faras), " the horse : " — 
the Pegasus sprang forth from Medusa when killed by Perseus, as represented on 
one of the metopes of Selinus ; and Neptune, who introduced the horse into Greece, 
and Medusa, are both Libyan. Fcu-ras signifies the "mare," and /arcs the "horse- 
man," or the "Persian," in Arabic. In the story of Perseus and Andromeda, as 
of St. George and the Dragon, the scene is placed in Syria; the former at Jaffa, the 
latter near Beiroot. — [G. W.] 

;atues on the large stone propyla, or towers of the Propykea, would be an 
anomaly in Egyptian architecture. The enclosure is the usual temenos, surrounded 
by a wall generally of crude brick, within which the temple stood. Cp. the Welsh 
" Idan." The palm-trees constituted the grove round ihe temple, which was 
usually planted with other trees. Clemens therefore calls it &\(tos, and gives the 
name 0^70? to the temenos. The courts surrounded by columns are his au\ai (See 
n. on ch. 155, and the woodcut there.) The court planted with trees seems to be 
the " grove " mentioned in the Bible ; ashreh (1 Kings xv. 13), ashireh (Deut. vii. 
5), plural asheroth (2 Chron. xxxiii. 3 : Judg. iii. 1) ; a word not related, as some 


this precinct is a temple, and in the temple an image of Perseus. 
The people of Chemmis say that Perseus often appears to them, 
sometimes within the sacred enclosure, sometimes in the open 
country : one of the sandals which he has worn is frequently 
found 7 — two cubits in length, as they affirm — and then all 
Egypt flourishes greatly. In the worship of Perseus Greek cere- 
monies are used ; gymnastic games are celebrated in his honour, 
comprising every kind of contest, with prizes of cattle, cloaks, 
and skins. I made inquiries of the Chemmites why it was that 
Perseus appeared to them and not elsewhere in Egypt, and how 
they came to celebrate gymnastic contests 8 unlike the rest of 
the Egyptians : to which they answered, " that Perseus belonged 
to their city by descent. Danatis and Lynceus were Chemmites 
before they set sail for Greece, and from them Perseus was de- 
scended," they said, tracing the genealogy ; " and he, when he 
came to Egypt for the purpose" (which the Greeks also assign) 
" of bringing away from Libya the Gorgon's head, paid them a 
visit, and acknowledged them for his kinsmen — he had heard 
the name of their city from his mother before he left Greece — 
he bade them institute a gymnastic contest in his honour, and 
that was the reason why they 'observed the practice." 

92. The customs hitherto described are those of the Egyp- 
tians who live above the marsh-country. The inhabitants of 
the marshes have the same customs as the rest, as well in those 
matters which have been mentioned above as in respect of mar- 
riage, each Egyptian taking to himself, like the Greeks, a single 
wife ; 9 but for greater cheapness of living the marsh-men prac- 

think, to Ashteroth, nor to asher, " ten " (both which begin with ain, not aleph). 
The grove brought out from the house of the Lord (2 Kings xxiii. 6 and 1) appears 
to be like the emblematic grove, or table surmounted by trees, carried in proces- 
sion behind the Egyptian god Khem. 

The word "highplace," "bemeh," iiES (1 Sam. ix. 12; 2 Kings xxiii. 15) is 
singularly, though accidentally, like the Greek /3rj/xa. — [G. W.] 

7 The modern Egyptians show the footstep of their prophet, in default of his 
sandal, and an impression in stone — a petrified miracle. The dervishes at Old Cairo 
have the shoe of their founder, which might almost vie for size with the sandal of 
Perseus.— [G. W.] 

8 See Note in Appendix, cu. vi. 

9 There is no instance on the monuments of Egypt of a man having more than 
one wife at a time ; nor does Herodotus say, as has sometimes been supposed, that 
this was the custom of the other Egyptians who lived above the marsh country. 
Rather he implies the contrary. From the superior treatment of women through- 
out Egypt, from what we see of their social habits, and from the queens being 
allowed to ascend the throne, it is very improbable that any man had more than 
one uife. Diodorus (i. 80) says the priests were only allowed one, while the rest 
might have any number ; but this is at variance with his account of the marriage 
contract, allowing a woman the control over her husband (i. 27) ; and, if permitted 
by law, we may be certain that few took advantage of it, since it was forbidden to 
the rich aristocracy, and the poor could not afford to enjoy the privilege. — 



Book II. 

tise certain peculiar customs, such as these following. They 
gather the blossoms of a certain water-lily, which grows in great 
abundance all over the flat country at the time when the Nile 
rises and floods the regions along its banks — the Egyptians call 
it the lotus 10 — they gather, I say, the blossoms of this plant and 
dry them in the sun, after which they extract from the centre 
of each blossom a substance like the head of a poppy, which 
they crush and make into bread. The root of the lotus is like- 

10 This Nymphaea Lotus grows in ponds and small channels in the Delta during 
the inundation, which are dry during the rest of the year; but it is not found in the 
Nile itself. It is nearly the same as our white water-lily. Its Arabic name is nufdr, 
or nilofer, or beshnin ; the last being the ancient " pi-sshnn," or pi-shneen, of the 
hieroglyphics. There are two varieties — the white, and that with a bluish tinge, or 
the Nymphaea Coerulea. The Buddhists of Tibet and others call it nenuphar. 
Though the favourite flower of Egypt, there is no evidence of its having been sacred ; 
but the god Nofr-Atmoo bore it on his head ; and the name nufar is probably 
related to nofr, "good," and connected with his title. It was thought to be a 
flower of Hades, or Amenti; and on it also Harpocrates is often seated. He was 
the Egyptian Aurora, or day-spring ; not the god of Silence, as the Greeks supposed, 
but figured with his finger in his mouth, to show one of the habits of childhood, of 
which he was the emblem. Hence he represented the beginning of day, or the rise 
and infancy of the sun, which was typically portrayed rising every morning from 
that flower, or from the water ; and this may have given rise to the notion of Pro- 
clus that the lotus flower was typical of the sun. Eratosthenes also says this son of 
Isis was the " god of Day." The Egyptian mode of indicating silence was by plac- 

ing " the hand on the mouth." (Cp. Job xxix. 9.) The frog was also an emblem 
"of man as yet in embryo," as Horapollo and the Egyptian monuments show. 
The lotus flower was always presented to guests at an Egyptian party ; and garlands 
were put round their heads and necks; — the "multreque in fronte corona.'." (Cp. 
Hor. Od. i. 26 and 38 ; ii. 7 ; iii. 10; iv. 11. Athenaeus, xv. Ovid. Fast. v. Anacreon, 
ode iv.) It is evident that the lotus was not borrowed from India, as it was the 
favourite plant of Egypt before the Hindoos had established their religion there. 

Besides the seeds of the lotus, poor people doubtless used those of other plants 
for making bread, like the modern Egyptians, who used to collect the small grains 
of the Mesemhrianthemwn nodi forum for this purpose; and Diodorus (i. 80) says 
the roots and stalks of water-plants were a great article of food among the lower 
classes of Egyptians. — [G. W.] 

Chap. 92. 



wise eatable, and has a pleasant sweet taste : it is round, and 
about the size of an apple. There is also another species of 
the lily in Egypt, 1 which grows, like the lotus, in the river, and 
resembles the rose. The fruit springs up side by side with the 
blossom, on a separate stalk, and has almost exactly the look 
of the comb made by wasps. It contains a number of seeds, 
about the size of an olive-stone, which are good to eat : and 
these are eaten both green and dried. The byblus' 2 (papyrus), 

1 Perhaps the Nymphcea Nelumbo, or Nelumbium, which is common in India, 
but which grows no longer in Egypt. And the care taken in planting it formerly 
seems to show it was not indigenous in Egypt. Crocodiles and the Nelumbium are 
represented, with the Nile god, on the large statue in the Vatican at Rome, and in 
many Roman-Egyptian sculptures (see woodcut) ; but it is remarkable that no rep- 

resentation of the Nelumbium occurs in the sculptures of ancient Egypt, though 
the common Nymphaea Lotus occurs so often. Pliny calls it Colocasia, as well as 
Cyanon (xxi. 15). Of the plants of Egypt, too numerous to mention here, see At. 
Eg. W. vol. iv. p 52 to 85, and Dr. Pickering's Phys. Hist, of Man, p. 368, &c— 
[G. W.] 

2 This is the Cyperus Papyrus, which, like the Nelumbium, is no longer a native 
of Egypt. It now only grows in the Anapus, near Syracuse, and it is said to have 
been found in a stream on the coast of Syria, as in Pliny's time (xiii. 11). Herodotus 
is wrong in calling it an annual plant. The use of the pith of its triangular stalk for 
paper made it a very valuable plant ; and the right of growing the best quality, and 
of selling the papyrus made from it, belonged to the Government. It was particu- 
larly cultivated in the Sebennytic nome, and various qualities of the paper were 
made. It is evident that other Cyperi, and particularly the Cyperus dives, were 
sometimes confounded with the Papyrus, or Byblus liieraticus of Strabo ; and when 
we read of its being used for mats, sails, baskets, sandals, and other common pur- 
poses, we may conclude that this was an inferior kind mentioned by Strabo ; and 
sometimes a common Cyperus, which grew wild, as many still do, was thus employed 
in its stead. It is, however, evident that a variety of the Papyrus was so used; men 
being represented on the monuments making small boats of it (see n. * ch. 96) ; and 
we may conclude this was a coarser and smaller kind not adapted for paper. The 
best was grown with great care. Pliny says the papyrus was not found about 
Alexandria, because it was not cultivated there ; and the necessity of this is shown 
by Isaiah's mention of " the paper reeds by the brooks . . . and every thing sown 
by the brooks." (Is. xix. 7.) This prophecy is still more remarkable from its de- 
Vol. II.— 9 


which grows year after year in the marshes, they pull up, and, 
cutting the plant in two, reserve the upper portion for other 
purposes, but take the lower, which is about a cubit long, and 
either eat it or else sell it. Such as wish to enjoy the byblus 
in full perfection bake it first in a closed vessel, heated to a 
glow. Some of these folk, however, live entirely on fish, which 
are gutted as soon as caught, and then hung up in the sun : 
when dry, they are used as food. 

93. Gregarious fish are not found in any numbers in the 
rivers ; they frequent the lagunes, whence, at the season of 
breeding, they proceed in shoals towards the sea. The males 
lead the way, and drop their milt as they go, while the females, 
following close behind, eagerly swallow it down. From this they 
conceive, 3 and when, after passing some time in the sea, they 
begin to be in spawn, the whole shoal sets off on its return to 
its ancient haunts. Now, however, it is no longer the males, 
but the females, who take the lead : they swim in front in a 
body, and do exactly as the males did before, dropping, little 
by little, their grains of spawn as they go, while the males in 
the rear devour the grains, each one of which is a fish. 4 A por- 
tion of the spawn escapes and is not swallowed by the males, 
and hence come the fishes which grow afterwards to maturity. 
When any of this sort of fish are taken on their passage to the 
sea, they are found to have the left side of the head scarred and 
bruised ; while if taken on their return, the marks appear on 
the right. The reason is, that as Jfchey swim down the Nile 
seaward, they keep close to the bank of the river upon their left, 
and returning again up stream they still cling to the same side 
hugging it and brushing in against it constantly, to be 
sure that they miss not their road through the great force of the 
current. When the Nile begins to rise, the hollows in the land 
and the marshy spots near the river are flooded before any other 

daring that the papyrus shall no longer grow in the country, that it "shall wither, 
and be driven away, and be no more." Theophrastus is correct in saying it grew in 
shallow water ; or in marshes, according to Pliny; and this is represented on the 
monuments, where it is placed at the side of a stream, or in irrigated lands (jsee 
woodcut, No. III. fig. 2, ch. 11, note 3 ; and the end of en. v. of the App.). Pliny 
describes the mode of making the paper (xiii. 11), by cutting thin slices of the pith 
and laying them in rows, and these being crossed with other slices, the whole was 
made to adhere by great pressure. — [G. W.] 

3 Aristotle (de Gen. Anim. iii. 5) shows the absurdity of this statement, quoting 
Herodotus by name, and giving his exact words. C. Miiller has strangely seen in 
the passage a fragment of Herodorus ! (See Fr. Hist. Gr. ii. p. 32, Fr. 11.) 

4 The male fish deposits the milt after the female has deposited the spawn, and 
thus renders it prolific. The swallowing of the spawn is simply the act of any 
hungry fish, male or female, who happens to find it. The bruised heads are a fable. 
— [G. W.l 

Chap. 93, 94. THE KIKI. 131 

places by the percolation of the water though the river banks ; 5 
and these, almost as soon as they become pools, are found to be 
full of numbers of little fishes. I think that I understand how 
it is this comes to pass. On the subsidence of the Nile the year 
before, though the fish retired with the retreating waters, they 
had first deposited their spawn in the mud upon the banks ; 
and so, when at the usual season the water returns, small fry are 
rapidly engendered out of the spawn of the preceding year. So 
much concerning the fish. 

94. The Egyptians who live in the marshes 6 use for the an- 
ointing of their bodies an oil made from the fruit of the sillicy- 
prium, 7 which is known among them by the name of " kiki" To 
obtain this they plant the sillicyprium (which grows wild in 
Greece) along the banks of the rivers and by the sides of the 
lakes, where it produces fruit in great abundance, but with a very 
disagreeable smell. This fruit is gathered, and then bruised and 

5 Percolation supplies the wells in the alluvial soil, even at the edge of the 
desert ; but wherever there are any hollows and dry ponds, these are filled, as of 
old, by canals cut for the purpose of conveying the water of the inundation inland. 
The water would reach the hollows and ponds by percolation, if no canals were 
made ; we know, however, that these were much more numerous in ancient than in 
modern Egypt. 

The sudden appearance of the young fish in the ponds was simply owing to these 
being supplied by the canals from the river, or by its overflowing its banks (which 
it only did in some few places, long after the canals had been opened), and the fish 
naturally went in at the same time with the water. — [G. W.] 

6 The intimate acquaintance of Herodotus with the inhabitants of the marsh- 
region is probably owing to the important position occupied by that region in the 
revolt of Inaros, which the Athenians, whom Herodotus accompanied, went to assist. 
While Inaros the Libyan attacked the Persians in the field, and with the help of the 
Athenians made himself master of the greater part of Memphis, Amyrtseus the 
Egyptian, his co-conspirator, established his authority over the marsh-district, the 
inhabitants of which were reputed the most warlike of the Egyptians. Here he 
maintained himself even after the defeat of Inaros and his Athenian allies, who 
seem to have made their last stand in the immediate vicinity of the marsh-country. 
(See Thucyd. i. 109-110. Herod, ii. 140; iii. 15, &c.) Herodotus, if he accom- 
panied the expedition, would thus have been brought into close contact with the 

7 This was the Ricinus communis, the castor-oil plant, or the Palma-Christi, in 
Arabic Kharv:ch. It was known by the names of Croton, Trixis, w r ild or tree-Sesa- 
mum, Ricinus, and (according to Diodorus) of o-eVeAt nvirpiov, which was doubtless the 
same as the aiKXiKvirpiov of Herodotus. It grew abundantly, according to Pliny, as 
it still does, in Egypt. The oil was extracted either by pressing the seeds, as at the 
present day, when required for lamps, or by boiling them and skimming off the oil 
■that floated on the surface, which was thought better for medicinal purposes. 
Pliny was not singular in his taste when he says (xv. V)), " Cibis focdum, lucernis 
utile." It was the plant that gave shade to Jonah (iv. 6) — Kikion, mistranslated 
"gourd." The Egyptians had many other plants that produced oil, the principal 
of which were the Carthamus tinctorius (or safflower), the Sesamum orientale (or 
Simsini), flax, lettuce, Belgam or coleseed (Brassica oleifera), and the Raphanus 
oleifer (the Seemga of modern Nubia), and even the olive ; though this tree seldom 
produced fruit in Egypt, except about the Lake Mceris, and in the gardens of Alex- 
andria. (Plin. xv. 3 ; Strabo, xvii. p. 1147.)— [G. W.] 


pressed, or else boiled down after roasting : the liquid which 
conies from it is collected and is found to be unctuous, and as well 
suited as olive-oil for lamps, only that it gives out an unpleasant 

95. The contrivances which they use against gnats, wherewith 
the country swarms, are the following. In the parts of Egypt above 
the marshes the inhabitants pass the night upon lofty towers, 8 
which are of great service, as the gnats are unable to fly to any 
height on account of the winds. In the marsh-country, where 
there are no towers, each man possesses a net instead. By day 
it serves him to catch fish, while at night he spreads it over the 
bed in which he is to rest, and creeping in, goes to sleep under- 
neath. The gnats, which, if he rolls himself up in his dress or 
in a piece of muslin, are sure to bite through the covering, do 
not so much as attempt to pass the net. 

96. The vessels used in Egypt for the transport of merchan- 
dise are made of the Acantha (Thorn), 9 a tree which in its growth 
is very like the Cyrenaic lotus, and from which there exudes a 
gum. They cut a quantity of planks about two cubits in length 
from this tree, and then proceed to their ship -building, arranging 
the planks ' like bricks, and attaching them by ties to a number 

8 A similar practice is found in the valley of the Indus. Sir Alexander Burnes, 
in his memoir on that river (Geograph. Journ. vol. iii. p. 113, et seqq.), says: — 
" The people bordering on this part of the Indus — between Bukker and M'dtun. Kotc — ■ 
live during the swell in houses elevated eight or ten feet from the ground, to avoid 
the damp and insects which it occasions. . . . X nese bungalows are entered by a 
ladder "(p. 137). 

[The custom of sleeping on the flat roofs of their houses is still common in 
Egypt; and the small tower rising above the roof is found in the representations of 
some ancient houses in the sculptures. The common tishing-net would be a very 
inefficient protection against the gnats of modern Egypt, though a net doubled will 
often exclude flies. — G. W.] 

9 This was Pliny's "Spina iEgyptia," called by Athenaeus "Acantha," and de- 
scribed by him (xv. p. 680) with a round fruit on small stalks. It is the modern 
Sont, or Mimosa (Acacia) Nilotica ; groves of which are still found in Egypt, as 
according to Strabo, Athenams, and others, of old. Gum-arabic is produced from 
it, as from other mimosas or acacias of Egypt and Ethiopia, particularly the [Sealeh 
or) Acacia Seal, and the (Tulh or) A. gummifera, of the desert. The Acacia Far- 
nesiana (or Fitneh), and the A. lebbek (lebbckh) grow in the valley of the Nile ; the 
small Gilgil (with pods like oak apples and seeds like those of the sealeh), perhaps 
the A. heterocarpa, is found in the Oasis; the Ildrraz (A. albida), Sellem, and 
Sumr, mostly in the Ababdeh desert, and a few of the two first at Thebes; a small 
one, called Omb6od, is found about Belbays; and a sensitive acacia (the A. asper- 
ata?) grows in Ethiopia on the banks of the Nile; perhaps the one mentioned by 
Pliny (xiii. 10) about Memphis. By "Abylus," Atbenseus means Abydus. The 
Shittim wood of Exodus was doubtless Acacia Seal (Sdydi) of the desert. "The 
Cyrenaic lotus" here mentioned by Herodotus is probably the T\dh, not that of the 
Lotophagi, and is different from that of Pliny (xiii. 17, 1'.)). See my note on Book 
iv. ch. 177.— [G. W.] 

1 The boats of the Xile are still built with planks of the sont. The planks, ar- 

Chap. 95, 96. 



of long stakes or poles till the hull is complete, when they lay 
the cross-planks on the top from side to side. They give the 
boats no ribs, but caulk the seams with papyrus on the inside. 

ranged as Herodotus states, like bricks, appear to have been tied to several long 
stakes, fastened to tbem internally (No. I.) Something of the kind is still done, 

when they raise an extra bulwark above 
the gunwale. In the large boats of bur- 
then the planks were secured by nails and 
bolts, which men are represented in the 
paintings driving into holes, previously 
drilled for them. There was also a small 
kind of punt or canoe, made entirely of 
the papyrus, bound together with bands 
of the same plant (No. II.) — the "vessels 
of bulrushes " mentioned in Isaiah xviii. 2 
(see Plin. vi. 22; vii. 16; xiii. 11; Theo- 
phrast. iv. 9 ; Plut. de Is. s. 18 ; Lucan, iv, 
136); but these were not capable of car- 
rying large cargoes ; and still less would 
papyrus ships cross the sea to the Isle of 
Taprobane (Ceylon), as Pliny supposes (vi. 22). This mistake may have originated 
in some sails and ropes having been made of the papyrus, but these were rarely 
used, even on the Nile. In one of the paintings at Kom el Ahmar one is repre- 
sented with a sail, which might be made of the papyrus rind, and which appears to 
fold up like those of the Chinese (No. III.), and the mast is double, which was usual 

No. I. 

No. II. 

in large boats in the time of the 4th and other early dynasties. That cloth sails, 
occasionally with coloured devices worked or painted on them, should be found on 
the monuments at least as early as the 18th and 19th dynasties, is not surprising, 
since the Egyptians were noted at a very remote period for the manufacture of linen 
and other cloths, and exported sail-cloth to Phoenicia. (Ezek. xxvii. 7.) Hempen 
(Herodot. vii. 25) and palm ropes are also shown by the monuments to have been 
adopted for all the tackling of boats. The process of making them is found at Beni 
Hassan and at Thebes ; and ropes made from the strong fibre of the palm-tree are 
frequently found in the tombs. This last was probably the kind most generally used 
in Egypt, and is still very common there, as the cocoa-nut ropes are in India. — 
[G. W.] 



Book II. 

Each has a single rudder, 2 which is driven straight through the 
keel. The mast is a piece of acantha-wood, and the sails are 
made of papyrus. These boats cannot make way against the 
current unless there is a brisk breeze ; they are, therefore, 

No. III. 

2 The large boats had generally a single rudder, which resembled a long oar, 
and traversed on a beam at the stern, instances of which occur in many countries 
at the present day ; but many had two rudders, one at each side, near the stern, 
suspended at the gunwale (see cut No. I. in n. 6 , ch. 96) or slung from a post, as a 
pivot, on which it turned. The small-sized boats of burthen were mostly fitted with 
two rudders ; and one instance occurs of three on the same side. On the rudder, 
as on the bows of the boat, was painted the eye (a custom still retained in the Med- 
iterranean, and in China), but the Egyptians seem to have confined it to the funeral 
baris. The boats always had one mast at the time Herodotus was in Egypt ; but it 
may be doubted if it was of the heavy acantha wood, which could with difficulty 
have been found sufficiently long and straight for the purpose ; and fir-wood was too 
well known in Egypt not to be employed for masts. Woods of various rare kinds 
were imported into Egypt from very distant countries as early as the time of the 

Chap. 96. 





Book II. 

towed up-stream from the shore : 3 down-stream they are man- 
aged as follows. There is a raft belonging to each, made of 
the wood of the tamarisk, fastened together with a wattling 
of reeds ; and also a stone bored through the middle about 
two talents in weight. The raft is fastened to the vessel by a 
rope, and allowed to float down the stream in front, while the 
stone is attached by another rope astern. 4 The result is, that 
the raft, hurried forward by the current, goes rapidly down the 
river, and drags the " baris " (for so they call this sort of boat) 5 

18th dynasty; and deal was then used for all common purposes, as well as the na- 
tive sycamore. The hulls of boats were even sometimes made of deal; and it would 
have been strange if they had not discovered how much more it was adapted for 
the masts. In the time of the 4th, 6th, and other early dynasties the mast was 
double ; but this was given up as cumbrous, and was not used after the accession of 
the ]8th, or even of the 12th dynasty.— [G. W.] 

3 The custom of towing up the stream is the same at present in Egypt ; but the 
modern boatmen make use of the stone in coming down the stream, to impede the 
boat, which is done by suspending it from the stern, while the tamarisk raft before 
the head is dispensed with. The contrivance Herodotus mentions was not so much 
to increase the speed as to keep the boat straight, by offering a large and buoyant 
object to the stream. When the rowers are tired, and boats are allowed to float 
down, they turn broadside to the stream ; and it was to prevent this that the stone 
and tamarisk raft were applied. — [Gr. W.] 

4 A practice almost entirely similar is described by Col. Chesney as prevailing to 
this day on the Euphrates. Speaking of the kufah, or round river-boat (of which 
a representation was given, vol. i. p. 260), he says : — " These boats in descending the 
river have a bundle of hurdles attached, which float in advance, and a stone of the 
weight of two talents drags along the bottom to guide them." (vol. ii. p. 640.) 

5 iEschylus had used this word before Herodotus as the proper term for an 
Egyptian boat. Cf. Suppl. 815 and 858. He. had also poetically extended it to the 
whole fleet of Xerxes (Pers. 555). Euripides used it as a foreign term. (Cf. Iph. 
in Aulid. 297. fSapfiapovs fiapiZas.) Afterwards it came to be a mere variant for 
irKolov. (See Blomfield's note on JSschyl. Pers. 559.) 

[I had supposed Baris to mean "Boat of the Sun." (At. Eg. vol. v. p. 413, note.) 
Baris has erroneously been derived from Bai, a " palm branch," which had cer- 
tainly this meaning (and which is even used in John xii. 13, ra (Saia twv (poiu'iKwv, 
"palm branches"), but Oua, or i/a, a "boat," is a different word, though a Greek 
would write it with a j3, or veta. The name Baris is used by Plutarch (de Is. s. 18, 
Iamblichus de Myst. s. 
6, eh. v.), and others. 
There was an Egyptian 
boat with a cabin, called 
by Strabo thalamegus, or 
thalaniiferus (xvii. pp. 
1 1 34-5), used by the gov- 
ernors of provinces for 
visiting Upper Egypt ; 
and a similar one was em- 
ployed in the funeral 
processions on the sacred 
Lake of the Dead (No. I.). 
There was also a small 
kind of boat, with a cabin 
or awning, in which gen- 
tlemen were towed by 
their servants upon the 

No. I. 

Chap. 96. 



after it ; while the stone, which is pulled along in the wake of 
the vessel, and lies deep in the water, keeps the boat straight. 

No. II. 

lakes in their pleasure grounds (No. II.). But all their large boats had cabins, often 
of great height and size, and even common market boats were furnished with them, 
and sufficiently roomy to hold cattle and various goods (No. IV.). — [G. W.] 

No. III. 



Book II. 

There are a vast number of these vessels in Egypt, and some of 
them are of many thousand talents' burthen. 

97. When the Nile overflows, the country is converted into 
a sea, and nothing appears but the cities, which look like the 
islands in the iEgean. 7 At this season boats no longer keep 
the course of the river, but sail right across the plain. On the 
voyage from Naucratis to Memphis at this season, you pass close 

No. I\ 

6 The size of boats on the Nile varies now as of old; and some used for carry- 
ing corn, which can only navigate the Nile during the inundation, are rated at from 
2000 to 4800 ardebs, or about 10,000 to 24,000 bushels burthen. The ships of war 
of the ancient Egyptians were not generally of great size, at least in the early times 
of the 18th and 19th dynasties, when they had a single row of from 20 to 44, or 50 
oars, and were similar to the " long ships*" and TrtuTTiKovTepoi of the Greeks, and 
the galleys of the Mediterranean during the middle ages. Some were of much 
larger dimensions. Diodorus mentions one of cedar, dedicated by Seso stria to the 
god of Thebes, measuring 280 cubits (from 420 to 478 feet) in length ; and in later 
times they were remarkable both for length and height; one built by Ptolemy 
Philopator having 40 banks of oars, and measuring 280 cubits (about 478 feet) in 
length, 38 in breadth, and 48 cubits (about 83 feet in height, or 53 from the keel to 
the top of the poop, which carried 400 sailors, besides 1000 rowers, and near Mono 
soldiers. (Plut. Vit. Demet. Athen. Deipn. v. p. 204; Pliny, vii. 66, who mentions 
one of 40, and another of 50 banks of oars.) Athenteus says Philopator built an- 
other, used on the Nile, half a stadium (about 300 feet) long, upwards of 30 cubits 
broad, and nearly 40 high : and " the number belonging to Ptolemy Philadelphus 
exceeded those of any other king (v. p. 203), he having two of 30 banks, one of 20, 
four of 14, two of 12, fourteen of 11, thirty of 9, thirty-seven of 7, five of 6, seven- 
teen quinqueremes, and more than twice that number of quadriremes, triremes," 
&c He also describes Hiero's ship of 20 banks, sent as a present to Ptolemy (v. 
pp. 20G, 207). It is singular that no Egyptian, Assyrian, Greek, or Roman monu- 
ment represents a galley of more than one, or at most two tiers of oars, except a 
Roman painting found in the Orti Farnesiani, which gives one with three, though 
triremes and quinqueremes were the most generally employed. — [G. W] 

7 This is perfectly true; and it still happens in those years when the inundation 
is very high. Though Savary and others suppose the water, no longer rises as in 
the days of Herodotus, and foretell the gradual decrease of the inundation, it has 
been satisfactory to see the villages as described by the historian as late as a. p. 
1848. Seneca says, "Majorque laetitia gcntibus, quo minus terrarum suarum vident." 

Chap. 97, 98. 



to the pyramids, 8 whereas the usual course is by the apex of 
the Delta, and the city of Cercasorus. 9 You can sail also from 
the maritime town of Canobus across the flat to Naucratis, 
passing by the cities of Anthylla 1 and Archandropolis. 

98. The former of these cities, which is a place of note, is 
assigned expressly to the wife of the ruler of Egypt for the time 
being, 2 to keep her in shoes. Such has been the custom ever 

No. I. 

(Nat. Quaest. iv. 2.) It is during these high inundations that we see the peasants 
rescuing their cattle from the flooded lands, as described in the old paintings. — 
[G. W.] 

No. II. 

8 When the Nile is at that height, boats can go across country, as Herodotus 
states, without keeping to the stream. As Herodotus says that in sailing to 
Naueratis from the Canopic mouth you pass by Anthylla and Archandropolis, it is 
clear that these towns stood to the west of the Canopic branch. — [G. W.] 

9 See above, note \ ch. 17. 

1 The neighbourhood of Anthylla was celebrated for its wine, probably from the 
soil being light. It stood to the west of the Canopic branch, not at Gyntecopolis, 
as Larcher supposes, but further inland. On the wines of Egypt, see notes on chs. 
18, 37, and 60.— [G. W.] 

2 Athonaeus (i. p. 33 F) says "to find her in girdles" (or dress). Plato uses the 
same expression when he says " a territory in Persia was set apart for and called 
the Queen's girdle, another for her veil, and others for the rest of her apparel." The 


since Egypt fell under the Persian yoke The other city seems 
to me to have got its name of Archandropolis from Archander 
the Phthian, son of Achaeus, 3 and son-in-law of Danaus. There 
might certainly have been another Archander ; but, any rate, 
the name is not Egyptian.* 

99. Thus far I have spoken of Egypt from my own observa- 
tion, relating what I myself saw, the ideas that I formed, and 
the results of my own researches. What follows rests on the 
accounts given me by the Egyptians, which I shall now repeat, 
adding thereto some particulars which fell under my own 

The priests said that Men was the first king of Egypt, 5 and 
that it was he who raised the ctyke which protects Memphis 
from the inundations of the Nile. Before his time the river 
flowed entirely along the sanely range of hills which skirts Egypt 
on the side of Libya. He, however, by banking up the river at 
the bend which it forms about a hundred furlongs south of 
Memphis, 6 laid the ancient channel dry, while he dug a new 

revenues of the Lake Mooris, which were settled on the queens of Egypt for the pur- 
chase of ointments, jewels, and other objects connected with the toilette, amounted, 
as Diodorus says (i. 52), to a talent every day (see note 9 on ch. 149) ; which, added 
to those of Anthylla, would be a handsome allowance for "pin-money." But a 
talent could not have been raised daily from that one fishery, and it would more 
probably include all those in Egypt, if it were necessary to believe that such a sum 
was allowed to the queens. It was the custom of the Persian kings to assign the 
revenues of towns as pin-money to the queens [Xenoph. Anab. i. 4, 9 ; Plato, Al- 
cibiad. I. p. 123. C), and they readily transferred those of the Egyptians to their 
own; but Herodotus seems to say it was only after the Persian conquest that the 
revenues of Anthylla were so applied. See Cic. Verr. iii. 33, and compare Corn. Nep. 
Vit, Thcmist. K>.— [G. W.] 

3 It would perhaps be more natural to render this passage, "Archander, the son 
of Phthius, and grandson of Achteus ;" but as Pausanias makes Archander the son of 
Achams and a Phthian, since he brings him from Phthiotis to the Pcloponnese 
(Achaic. i. § 3), and as the words of Herodotus will bear the meaning given in the 
text, it seems best to translate him in this way. According to Pausanias (1. s. c.) 
Archander married Scrca, the daughter of Danaus, and had a son whom he called 
Metanastes, in memory of his change of country. 

4 This remark of Herodotus is very just, and Archander was doubtless corrupted 
by the Greeks from some Egyptian name. — [G. W.] 

5 Manetho, Eratosthenes, and other writers, agree with Herodotus that Men 
or Menes (the Mna, or Menai, of the monuments) was the first Egyptian 
king; and this is confirmed by the lists of the Memnonium, or Remes- 
eum, at Thebes, and by the Turin papyrus. The gods were said to 
have reigned before Menes, which some explain by supposing them the 
colleges of priests of those deities. Menes is called by Manetho a 
"Thinite." After his reign the kingdom appears to have been divided, 
and the remaining kings of the 1st and 2nd dynasties reigned in Upper 
Egypt, while the 3rd and 4th ruled at Memphis ; as Dr. Ilineks and Mr. 
Stuart Poole have suggested. See Hist. Not. App. CH. viii. and Tn. P. 
K. W. pp. 29, 31, and 58.— [G. W.] 

6 The dyke of Menes was probably near the modern Kafr el Iyat, 14 miles south of 
Mitrahe?iny, where the Nile takes a considerable bend, and from which point it would 

Chap. 99, 100. SUCCESSORS OF MEN. \±\ 

course for the stream half-way between the two lines of hills. 
To this day, the elbow which the Nile forms at the point where 
it is forced aside into the new channel is guarded with the 
greatest care by the Persians, and strengthened every year ; for 
if the river were to burst out at this place, and pour over the 
mound, there would be danger of Memphis being completely 
overwhelmed by the flood. Men, the first king, having thus, 
by turning the river, made the tract where it used to run, dry 
land, proceeded in the first place to build the city now called 
Memphis, 7 which lies in the narrow part of Egypt ; after which 
he further excavated a lake outside the town, to the north and 
west, communicating with the river, which was itself the eastern 
boundary. Besides these works 8 he also, the priests said, built 
the temple of Vulcan which stands within the city, a vast edifice, 
very worthy of mention. 

100. Next, they read me from a papyrus, the names of 
three hundred and thirty monarchs, 9 who (they said) were his 

(if the previous direction of its course continued) run immediately below the Libyan 
mountains, and over the site of Memphis. Calculating from the outside of Memphis, 
this bend agrees exactly with the hundred stadia, or nearly 11£ English miles, 
Mitrahenny being about the centre of the old city. No traces of these dykes are 
now seen. — [G. W.] 

7 The early foundation of Memphis is proved by the names of the kings of the 
oldest dynasties being found there ; and the precedence of the upper country may 
have been owing to Menes being from This, a city of the Thebaid near Abydus, to 
which Thebes succeeded as the capital of Upper Egypt. Pthah, or Vulcan, was 
the god of Memphis, to whom the great temple was erected by Menes. The lake 
was the one on which the funeral ceremonies were performed, and which the dead 
crossed on the way to the tombs, as at Thebes ; and this, as Diodorus says (i. 92, 
96), was the origin of the Acherusian Lake of the Greeks, which he seems to think 
was called Acherusia at Memphis. The name of Memphis was Manofre, or Men- 
nofr, "the place (or haven) of good men," according to Plutarch (s. 21), or "the 
abode of the good one," meaning Osiris ; and this has been retained in the Coptic 
Mefi, Memfi, Menofre, and Panouf, and in the modern Manouf of the Delta. It was 
also called the "land of the pyramid" and "of the white wall," or "building." See 
note on B. iii. ch. 13.— [G. W.] 

b Neither Menes nor his immediate successors have left any monuments. His 
name is only mentioned on those of a much later date. The names of the kings of 
the 4th dynasty are at the pyramids, and of the 6th mostly in Lower and Middle 
Egypt ; the 3rd, 4th and 6th being Memphites. Those of the Enentefs (or Nten- 
tefs), and others of the 9th Heracleopolite dynasty, are found at Thebes and else- 
where ; particularly at Hermonthis. The 9th was contemporary with part of the 
5th, the 6th, 11th and 12th ; and the monuments of the kings of the two last are 
found at Thebes. Osirtasen I., the leader of the 12th, ruled the whole of Egypt, 
and it was while this Diospolite dynasty ruled that the Shepherds came into Egypt 
and obtained possession of Memphis. During the reign of the 13th they extended 
their conquests into the Thebaid, when the Egyptian kings took refuge in Ethiopia, 
where their names are found; and it was not till the accession of the 18th that 
Amosis, the leader of that dynasty, expelled the Shepherds from Egypt, and 
made the whole country into one kingdom. (See Hist. Not. in App. ch. viii.) — 
[G. W.l 

9 That is from Menes to Mceris, who had not been dead 900 years, when Herod- 
otus was in Egypt about b.c. 455 (supra, ch. 13). This would make the date ot 

142 NITOCRIS. Book II 

successors upon the throne. In this number of generations 
there were eighteen Ethiopian kings/ and one queen who was a 
native : all the rest were kings and Egyptians. The queen bore 
the same name as the Babylonian princess, namely, Nitocris. 2 

Moerisless than 1350 B.C., and might correspond with the era of Menophres B.C. 
1322, who seems to be the king he here calls Moeris, the Mendes of Diodorus (i. 61 
and 97). The name Moeris was evidently attributed to several kings (see note on 
ch. 1*3). The Moeris here mentioned could not have lived before the founders of 
the Pyramids and the first Sesostris ; the 330 kings should therefore include all the 
kings of the Egyptian dynasties to the time of Menophres, and this being the great 
Egyptian era will account for the reign of that king being mentioned so often as 
one from which they dated events. The number of 330 kings, which appears also 
to be given by the Turin papyrus, was evidently taken from the sum of all the 
reigns to the end of the 18th dynasty, or to the accession of Remeses II. Eusebius 
indeed gives little more than 300 kings from Menes to the end of the 18th dynasty, 
though his numbers are very uncertain, and his summation comes within four of 
Africanus. At all events it is evident that the 330 kings cannot be calculated from 
Menes to Amun-m-he III. (the Moeris of the Labyrinth, and the Lamaris of Manetho). 
As there are only 204 kings from Menes to Lamaris, the 4th king of the 12th dyn- 
asty, and far less if contemporaneousness be allowed for, and though Amun-m-he III. 
was the real Moeris of the Labyrinth, these calculations of time were not made to 
him, but to a much later reign, — the fixed chronological period of Menophres, who 
by mistake has been confounded with Moeris. (See notes on chs. 13 and 124.) 
The Sesostris who came "after them" could not be Sesostris of the 12th dynasty, 
as he reigned before Amun-m-he III. (the real Moeris) ; and this must refer to the 
later (supposed) Sesostris or Sethos, whose exploits, together with those of his son 
Remeses II., have been attributed to one king, under the name of Sesostris. See 
note 7 on ch. 102.— [G. W.] 

1 The intermarriages of the Egyptian and Ethiopian royal families may be in- 
ferred from the sculptures. "The royal son of Kush" (Cush, or Ethiopia) is also 
often mentioned, sometimes holding the office of flabellum-bearcr on the right of a 
Pharaoh; though this title of "royal son" probably belonged to Egyptian princes 
who were viceroys of Ethiopia; foreign princes being merely styled " chiefs." But 
the Ethiopians who sat on the throne of E^ypt may have claimed their right either 
as descendants of those princes, or through intermarriages with daughters of the 
Pharaohs. The eighteen Ethiopian kings were probably the early Sabacos of the 
13th dynasty, one of whose names is found on a statue in the Isle of Argo, and an- 
other at Semneh, in Ethiopia, who ruled there while the Shepherds were in Egypt. 
It was this right of the female members of the royal family to the throne that led so 
many foreigners who had married Egyptian princesses to assert their claims, some 
of which were successful. — [G. W.] 

2 The fact of Nitocris having been an early 
Egyptian queen is proved in her name, Neitakri, 
occurring in the Turin Papyrus, and as the last 
sovereign of Manetho's 6th dynasty. There was 
another Nitocris of the 26th dynasty written 
Neitakri, with the usual name of the goddess 
Neith. Eratosthenes translates Nitocris " Minerva 
Victrix." It is remarkable that Nitocris of the 
26th dynasty lived about the same time as the 
Babylonian queen. The name is perfectly Egyp- 
tian. The queen of Psammetichus III., a daugh- 
ter of his predecessor, had the same name as the 
(supposed) wife of Nebuchadnezzar ; and it is not 
impossible that the famous Nitocris may have 
been another of the same name and family, demanded in marriage by the king of 
Babvlon on his invasion of Egypt. See note on ch. 177, and historical notice in the 
Appendix.— [G. W.] 

Chap. 101. MCERIS. 143 

They said that she succeeded her brother ; 3 he had been king 
of Egypt, and was put to death by his subjects, who then 
placed her upon the throne. Bent on avenging his death, she 
devised a cunning scheme by which she destroyed a vast num- 
ber of Egyptians. She constructed a spacious underground 
chamber, and, on pretence of inaugurating it, contrived the fol- 
lowing : — Inviting to a banquet those of the Egyptians whom 
she knew to have had the chief share in the murder of her bro- 
ther, she suddenly, as they were feasting, let the river in upon 
them, by means of a secret duct of large size. This, and this 
only, did they tell me of her, except that, when she had done 
as I have said, she threw herself into an apartment full of ashes, 
that she might escape the vengeance whereto she would other- 
wise have been exposed. 

101. The other kings, they said, were personages of no note 
or distinction, 4 and left no monuments of any account, with the 
exception of the last, who was named Mceris. 5 He left several 
memorials of his reign — the northern gateway of the temple of 
Vulcan, the lake excavated by his orders, whose dimensions I 
shall give presently, 6 and the pyramids built by him in the lake, 
the size of which will be stated when I describe the lake itself 

3 This would seem to be Menthesoyphis II., the fifth king of Manetho's 6th dynas- 
ty, who reigned only a year. 

4 Their obscurity was owing to Egypt being part of the time under the domin- 
ion of the Shepherds, who finding Egypt divided into several kingdoms, or prin- 
cipalities, invaded the country, and succeeded at length in dispossessing the Mem- 
phite kings of their territories. Their invasion seems to have originated in some 
claim to the throne, probably through previous marriages. This would account for 
their being sometimes in alliance with the kings of the rest of the country ; for 
their conquest having been made " without a battle," as Manetho says ; and for its 
not having weakened the power of Egypt, which that of a foreign enemy would have 
done. They came into Egypt about the beginning of the 12th dynasty, but did not 
extend their dominion beyond Lower Egypt till the end of that dynasty. They then 
ruled contemporaneously with the 7th, 8th, 10th, 13th, and 14th dynasties, till at 
length the whole of the Egyptian power becoming invested in one native king Ames 
(called Amosis and Tethmosis by Manetho and Josephus), who was the first of the 
18th dynasty, the Shepherds were driven out of the country, and the Theban or 
Diospolite kings ruled the whole of Egypt. It is still uncertain of what race the 
Shepherds were. Some are called by Manetho Phoenicians. (See Historical Notice 
in the App.) Eusebius (Chron. p. 27) says Phoenix and Cadmus going from Egyp- 
tian Thebes reigned over Tyre and Sidon, which might apply to the expulsion of 
the "Phoenician Shepherds" from Egypt, and the relationship of Egypt and Phoe- 
nicia is pointed out by a pedigree in Apollodorus (Bibl. ii. 1,4); who adds that, ac- 

Neptune = Libya. 

Agenor, King of Phoenicia. Belus s= Anchinoe, daughter of Nilus. 

JEgyptus. Danaus. 

cording to Euripides, Cepheus and Phineus were also sons of Belus and Anchinoe. 
_[G. W.] 

5 See note 6 on ch. 13, and note 9 on ch. 100. 6 Infra, ch 149. 


wherein they stand. Such were his works : the other kings 
left absolutely nothing. 

102. Passing over these monarchs, therefore, I shall speak 
of the king who reigned next, whose name was Sesostris. 7 He, 
the priests said, first of all proceeded in a fleet of ships of war 
from the Arabian gulf along the shores of the Erythraean sea, 
subduing the nations as he went, until he finally reached a sea 
which could not be navigated by reason of the shoals. 8 Hence 

7 The original Sesostris was the first king of the 12th dynasty, Osirtasen, or Ses- 
ortasen I., who was the first great Egyptian conqueror ; but when Osirei or Sethi 
(Sethos), and his son Remeses II. surpassed the exploits of their predecessor, the 
name of Sesostris became confounded with Sethos, and the conquests of that king, 
and his still greater son, were ascribed to the original Sesostris. This explains the 
assertion of Dicaearchus that Sesostris was the successor of Horus, mistaken for the 
god, but really the last king of the 18th dynasty. For those two kings did succeed 
Horus (the reign of Remeses I., the father of Sethi, being so short as to be over- 
looked), and their union under one name Sesostris is accounted for by Remeses II. 
having ruled conjointly with his father during the early and principal part of his 
reign. Mr. Poole very properly suggests that Manetho's "Se&ws 6 «ol 'Pe/*€W7?s" 
should be " 2 . . Kal P . ." This is required also by the length of their reigns (that 
of the 2nd Remeses being from 63 to 66 years); and by the age of Remeses; and 
the sculptures atKarnak show that he accompanied his father in his early campaigns. 
It seems too that in the first Sesostris two kings, Osirtasen I. and III., were com- 
prehended ; as several were under the name of Moeris. Strabo (xv. p. 97S) makes 
Sesostris and even Tearkon (Tirhaka) both go into Europe. The great victories 
over the Scythians could not be attributed to the early Sesostris, though some ruins 
near old Kossayr (see n. ch. 158) prove that in the reign of Amun-m-he II., who 
reigned for a short time contemporaneously with Osirtasen I., the Egyptians had al- 
ready (in his 28th year) extended their conquests out of Egypt, having defeated the 
people of Fount, with whom the kings of the 18th and l'.'th dynasties were after- 
wards at war. The people of Fount were a northern race, being placed at Soleb 
and elsewhere with the Asiatic tribes. They appear to have lived in Arabia ; prob- 
ably in the Southern, as well as Northern part ; and their tribute at Thebes, in the 
time of Thothmes III., consisted of ivory, ebony, apes, and other southern produc- 
tions ; partly perhaps obtained by commerce. Elephants and brown bears were 
also brought by the northern race of Rot-h-n, or Rot-n-no, who come next to Mes- 
opotamia in the list of conquered countries. Osirtasen I. possessed the peninsula of 
Mount Sinai, already conquered in the age of the 4th dynasty, and extended his 
arms far into Ethiopia, where his monuments are found ; and this may be the ex- 
pedition alluded to by Diodorus as the beginning of his exploits, unless he had in 
view the conquests of Sethi and Remeses II., which reached still farther south, con- 
tinuing those of Amenoph III. in Ethiopia and the Soudan. Some think Osirtasen 
III. was Sesostris, because he is treated with divine honours on the monuments of 
Thothmes III. ; but this may have been from some rights to the throne being deriv- 
ed from him, or from his having established the frontier on the Ethiopian side at 
this spot ; though it seems also to accord with Manetho's account of Sesostris being 
considered as ''the first (or greatest) after Osiris." But neither the conquests nor 
the monuments of the third Osirtasen show him to have equalled the first ; and if he 
fixed on Semneh as the frontier of Egypt, it was within the limits of his predec 
conquests. That it was the frontier defence against the Ethiopians is shown by an 
inscription there, and by the water-gate in both fortresses being on the Egyptian 
side of the works. The monuments of Osirtasen I. are found from the Delta into 
Ethiopia. (See Hist. Notice in App. ch. viii.) — [G. W.] 

8 This is perhaps an indication that the Egyptians in the time of Herodotus were 
aware of the difficulties of the navigation towards the mouths of the Indus. The 
waters of this river in the flood-time discolour the sea for three miles, and deposit 

Chap. 102, 103. CONQUESTS OF SESOSTRIS. 145 

he returned to Egypt, where, they told me, he collected a vast 
armament, and made a progress by land across the continent, 
conquering every people which fell in his way. In the countries 
where the natives withstood his attack, and fought gallantly for 
their liberties, he erected pillars, 9 on which he inscribed his own 
name and country, and how that he had here reduced the in- 
habitants to subjection by the might of his arms : where, on the 
contrary, they submitted readily and without a struggle, he in- 
scribed on the pillars, in addition to these particulars, an emblem 
to mark that they were a nation of women, that is, unwarlike 
and effeminate. 

103. In this way he traversed the whole continent of Asia, 
whence he passed on into Europe, and made himself master of 
Scythia and of Thrace, beyond which countries I do not think 
that his army extended its march. For thus far the pillars 
which he erected are still visible, 1 but in the remoter regions 
they are no longer found. Keturning to Egypt from Thrace, 
he came, on his way, to the banks of the river Phasis. Here I 
cannot say with any certainty what took place. Either he of 
his own accord detached a body of troops from his main army 
and left them to colonise the country, or else a certain number 
of his soldiers, wearied with their long wanderings, deserted, and 
established themselves on the banks of this stream. 2 

vast quantities of mud, forming an ever-shifting series of shoals and shallows very 
dangerous to vessels. (See Geograph. Journ. vol. iii. p. 120.) The voyage of 
Seylax down the Indus from Caspatyrus to the ocean, and thence along shore to 
Suez (infra, iv. 44) would have brought the knowledge of these facts to the Egyp- 
tians, if they did not possess it before. The conquests of Sesostris in this direction 
seem to be pure fables. 

9 These memorials, which belong to RemesesIL, are found in Syria, on the rocks 
above the mouth of the Lycus (now Nahr el Kelb). Strabo says a stela on the Red 
Sea records his conquests over the Troglodytse (b. xvi. p. 1098). The honour paid 
by Sesostris to those who resisted his arms, and fought courageously, is one of many 
proofs of the civilised habits of the Egyptians ; and these sentiments contrast 
strongly with the cruelties practised by the Asiatic conquerors, who flayed alive 
and tortured those who opposed them, as the Turks have done in more recent 
times. (See Layard's drawings, and the Nineveh sculptures in the British Museum.) 
The victories of Remeses II. are represented on the monuments of Thebes ; and it 
is worthy of notice that when Germanicus visited them no mention was made of 
Sesostris, as the great conqueror, but of Rhamses, the real king whose sculptures 
he was shown by the priests (Tacit. Ann. ii. 60). The mistake is therefore not 
Egyptian.— [G. W.] 

1 Kiepert (as quoted by M. Texier, Asie Mineure, ii. p. 306) concludes from this, 
that Herodotus had seen the Thracian stelae. But Herodotus does not say so, and 
such a point is certainly not to be assumed without distinct warrant from his words. 
It is to the last degree improbable that Sesostris or any other Egyptian conqueror ever 
penetrated through Scythia into Thrace. The Egyptian priests did not even ad- 
vance such a claim when they conversed with Germanicus (Tacit. Ann. ii. 60). The 
Caucasus is the furthest limit that can possibly be assigned to the Ramesside con- 
quests, and the Scythians subdued must have dwelt within that boundary. 

2 If it be really true that Sesostris left a colony on the Phasis, his object may be 

Vol. II.— 10 


104. There can be no doubt that the Colchians are an 
Egyptian race. 3 Before I heard any mention of the fact from 
others, I had remarked it myself. After the thought had struck 
me, I made inquiries on the subject both in Colchis and in 
Egypt, and I found that the Colchians had a more distinct rec- 
ollection of the Egyptians, than the Egyptians had of them. 
Still the Egyptians said that they believed the Colchians to be 
descended from the army of Sesostris. My own conjectures were 
founded, first, on the fact that they are black skinned and have 
woolly hair ; 4 which certainly amounts to but little, since several 

explained in the same manner as that of the Argonautic expedition; both being to 
obtain a share of that lucrative trade, which long continued to flow in that direc- 
tion, and was the object of the Genoese settlements on the Black Sea from the 
thirteenth to the fifteenth century. The trade from India and Arabia took various 
channels at different periods. In Solomon's time, the Phoenicians had already 
brought it through the Red Sea, and his offering them a more convenient road 
thence through the Valley of Petra, enabled him to enter into an advantageous 
treaty with, and to obtain a share of the trade from, that jealous merchant people. 
It was frequently diverted into different channels ; as under the Egyptian Caliphs, 
and at other times. But it also passed at the same periods by an overland route, 
to which in the earliest ages it was probably confined; and if Colchis was the place 
to which the former was directed, this would account for the endeavour of the 
Egyptian conqueror to establish a colony there, and secure possession of that im- 
portant point. The trade of Colchis may, however, like its golden fleece, simply 
relate to the gold brought to it from the interior. — [G. W.] Compare Essay x. 
§ 7, sub fin. 

3 According to Agathias (ii. p. 55) the Lazis of the country about Trebizond are 
the legitimate descendants of the ancient Colchians. The language of this race is 
Turanian, and bears no particular resemblance to that of ancient Egypt. (See Mid- 
ler's Languages of the Seat of War, pp. 113-5.) 

4 Herodotus also alludes in ch. 57 to the black colour of the Egyptians; but not 
only do the paintings pointedly distinguish the Egyptians from the blacks of Afri- 
ca, and even from the copper-coloured 

Ethiopians, both of whom are shown to 
have been of the same hue as their de- 
scendants : but the mummies prove that 
the Egyptians were neither black nor 
woolly-haired, and the formation of the 
head at once decides that they are of Asi- 
atic, and not of African, origin. It is 
evident they could not have changed in 
colour, as Larcher supposes, from the time 
of Herodotus to that of Ammianus Mar- 
cellinus, who after all only says they are 
"mostly dusky and dark" (xxii. 1G), but 
not " black ; " for though the Ethiopians 
have for more than 3000 years intermar- 
ried with black women from the Soudan, 
who form great part of their hareems, they 
still retain their copper-colour, without 
becoming negroes ; and indeed this may serve as a negative datum for those who 
speculate on change of colour in the human race. That the Egyptians were dark 
and their hair coarse, to European eyes, is true ; but it is difficult to explain the 
broad assertion of Herodotus, especially as he uses the superlative of the same 
word "most woolly," in speaking of the hair of the Ethiopians of the West, or the 


other nations are so too ; but further and more especially, on 
the circumstance that the Colchians, the Egyptians, and the 
Ethiopians, are the only nations who have practised circum- 
cision from the earliest times. The Phoenicians and the Syrians 
of Palestine 5 themselves confess that they learnt the custom of 
the Egyptians ; and the Syrians who dwell about the rivers 
Thermodon and Parthenius, as well as their neighbours the 
Macronians, 7 say that they have recently adopted it from the 

blacks of Africa (B. vii. ch. 70). The hair he had no opportunity of seeing, as the 
Egyptians shaved their heads and beards; and blackness of colour is, and always 
was, a very conventional term ; for the Hebrews even called the Arabs " black," 
kedar, the " cedrei " of Pliny ; though TTp may only mean of a dark, or sunburnt 
hue (Plin. v. 11 : see note on Book iii. ch. 101). The negroes of Africa, in the 
paintings of Thebes, cannot be mistaken ; and the Egyptians did not fail to heighten 
the caricature of that marked race by giving to their scanty dress of hide the ridic- 
ulous addition of a tail. Egypt was called Chemi, "black," from the colour of the 
rich soil, not from that of the people (see note 5 on ch. 15). Our "blacks and "In- 
dians" are equally indefinite with the blacks or Ethiopians of old. The fact of the 
Egyptians representing their women yellow and the men red suffices to show a 
gradation of hue, whereas if a black race the women would have been black also. — 
[G. W.] 

5 Herodotus apparently alludes to the Jews. Palestin and Philistin are the same 
name. He may be excused for supposing that the Jews borrowed circumcision from 
the Egyptians, since they did not practise it as a regular and universal custom until 
after they left Egypt, which is proved by the new generation in the wilderness not 
being circumcised till their arrival on the plains of Jericho (Joshua v. 5, 7), though 
it had been adopted by the Patriarchs and their families from the time of Abraham. 
Even (in John vii. 22) our Saviour says, "Moses gave you circumcision (not because 
it is of Moses, but of the fathers) ; " and any writer of antiquity might naturally 
suppose that the Jews borrowed from Egypt a rite long established there ; for it 
was already common at least as early as the 4th dynasty, and probably earlier, 
long before the birth of Abraham, or b. c. 1996. Herodotus is justified in calling the 
Jews Syrians, as they were comprehended geographically under that name ; and 
they were ordered to " speak and say before the Lord God : A Syrian ready to 
perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a 
few, and became there a nation . . ." (Deut. xxvi. 5). Pausanias (i. 5) speaks of 
the "Hebrews who are above the Syrians," virsp ~2vpwu. Syria comprehended the 
whole country from the passes of Cilieia (now Adand) to Egypt, though parts of it 
were separate and distinct provinces. See n. on Book vii. ch. 72. — [G. W.] 

G The Syrians here intended are undoubtedly the Cappadocians (supra, i. 72, 
76), in whose country the river Thermodon is commonly placed. (Scylax. Peripl. 
p. 80; Strab. xii. p. 792; Plin. H. N. vi. 3; Ptol. v. 6.) It is curious, however, to 
find in such a connexion a mention of the Parthenius, which is the modern Chati 
Su, or river of Bartan, a stream considerably to the W. of the Halys, ascribed by 
the geographers either to Paphlagonia (Scylax. p. 81 ; Strab. xii. p. 787 ; Plin. H. 
N. vi. 2) or to Bithynia (Ptol. v. 1). Herodotus elsewhere (i. 72) distinctly states 
that Cappadocia lay entirely to the E. of the Halys, and that the region to the W. 
was Paphlagonia. The limits of the countries, no doubt, vary greatly in ancient 
writers (cp. Xen. Anab. V. v.-vi., with Scyl. Peripl. 1. s. c); but with so distinct an 
expression of his views on the part of Herodotus in one place, it seems impossible 
that in another he can have intended to extend Cappadocia three degrees farther to 
the W. I should therefore incline to think, either that the name is corrupted, or 
that a different Parthenius is meant — the name being one which would be likely to 
be aiven by the Greeks to any stream in the country of the Amazons. 

7 The Macronians are mentioned by Xenophon (Anab. IV. viii. § 1) as situated 
inland at no great distance from Trapezus (Trebizond). Strabo (xii. p. 795) agree? 


Colchians. Now these are the only nations who use circum- 
cision, and it is plain that they all imitate herein the Egyptians. 8 
"With respect to the Ethiopians, indeed, I cannot decide whether 
they learnt the practice of the Egyptians, or the Egyptians of 
them 9 — it is undoubtedly of very ancient date in Ethiopia — but 
that the others derived their knowledge of it from Egypt is clear 
to me, from the fact that the Phoenicians, when they come to 
have commerce with the Greeks, cease to follow the Egyptians 
in this custom, and allow their children to remain uncircumcised. 

105. I will add a further proof of the identity of the Egyp- 
tians and the Colchians. These two nations weave their linen 
in exactly the same way, and this is a way entirely unknown to 
the rest of the world ; they also in their whole mode of life and 
in their language resemble one another. The Colchian linen 1 
is called by the Greeks Sardinian, while that which comes from 
Egypt is known as Egyptian. 

106. The pillars which Sesostris erected in the conquered 
countries, have for the most part disappeared, but in the part of 
Syria called Palestine, I myself saw them still standing, 2 with 

with this, and informs us that they were afterwards called Sanni. They occur again, 
iii. 94, and vii. 78. 

B Circumcision was not practised by the Philistines (1 Sam. xiv. 6; xvii. 26; 
xviii. 2*7 ; 2 Sam. i. 20 ; 1 Chron. x. 4), nor by the generality of the Phoenicians ; 
for while it is said of Pharaoh (Ezek. xxxi. 18 ; xxxii. 32) that he should "lie in the 
midst of the uncircumcised," and Edom (xxxii. 29) " with the uncircumcised," Elam, 
Meshech, Tubal, and the Zidonians (xxxii. 24, 30) "go down uncircumcised." Jo- 
sephus (Antiq. viii. 20. 3) maintains that no others in Syria were circumcised but the 
Jews. The Abyssinians still retain the rite, though they are Christians of the Copt 
Church.— [G. W.] 

9 It has been already shown that the Ethiopians borrowed their religious in- 
stitutions from Egypt. See notes 9 on ch. 29, and 6 on ch. 30. — [G. W.] 

1 Colchis was famous for its linen. It was taken to Sardis, and being thence 
imported received the name of Sardian. 'S.apZovinbv "Sardinian," may be a mistake 
for ~2apdiav6v. The best linen nets for hunting purposes are said by J. Pollux to 
have come from Egypt, Colchis, Carthage, or Sardis (Onom. 5. 4. 26). It is possible 
that the linen of Colchis may have had the Egyptian name Sindon, or she?if, and 
that this may have been converted into Sardon. (See note 6 on ch. 86.) Sindon 
was also used sometimes to signify "Indian." (Plin. vi. 20.) — {Or. W\] 

2 The stelae seen by Herodotus in Syria were doubtless those on the rock near 
Berytus (Beyroot), at the mouth of the Lycus (Nahr el Kelb) f engraved by Remeses 
II. : one is dedicated to Amun, another to Pthah, and a third to Re, the gods of 
Thebes, Memphis, and Heliopolis, the three principal cities on his march through 
Egypt. Almost the only hieroglyphics now traceable are on the jambs of the tab- 
lets, which have one of the usual formulas — "the good god," or "Phrah (Pharaoh) 
the powerful . . . king of kings, Remeses, to whom life has been given like the 
sun ; " but the lines below the figure of the king, who slays the foreign chiefs before 
the god, and which should contain the mention of his victories, are too much de- 
faced to be legible. The doubts of M. de Saulcy respecting the genuineness of these 
stela? are extraordinary in these days. 

Close to them are stela? of an Assyrian king, who is now found to be Sennacherib, 
who built the great palace at Koyunjik. 

Mr. Layard (Nineveh and Babylon, p. 355, note) mentions colossal figures of an 
Egyptian sphinx and two priests carved on a rock above the city of Antioch. — [G. W. ] 

Chap. 105, 106. 



the writing above mentioned, and the emblem distinctly visible. 3 
In Ionia also, there are two representations of this prince en- 
graved upon rocks, 4 one on the road from Ephesus to Phocasa, 

3 According to the record seen by Herodotus, Sesostris considered the people 
of Palestine a cowardly race. To the power of Egypt they must have been insigni- 
ficant ; and though the numbers of the Philistines made them troublesome to the 
Israelites, they are not represented as the same valiant people as the Anakim (Num. 
xiii. 28, 33 ; Deut. ii. 21 ; ix. 2), who being far less numerous were conquered by 
Joshua (Josh. xi. 21, 23), a remnant only remaining in Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod 
(Azotus). In Amos (ix. 7) the Philistines are said to have come from Caphtor. 
(See Hist. Not. App. ch. viii. § IT.) 

Josephus (Antiq. viii. 10. 2) applies this bad compliment to the Jews, and sup- 
poses it was recorded by Shishak, to whom Rehoboam gave up Jerusalem without 
resistance. He thinks Herodotus has applied his actions to Sesostris. — [G. W.] 

4 A figure, which seems certainly to be one of the two here mentioned by Her- 

Rock-Scnlpture at Ninfi, near Smyrna. 


the other between Sardis and Smyrna. In each case the figure 
is that of a man, four cubits and a span high, with a spear in 
his right hand and a bow in his left/ the rest of his costume 

odotus, has been discovered at Ninfi, on what appears to have been the ancient 
road from Sardis to Smyrna. It was first noticed, I believe, by the Rev. J. C. 
Renouard. The height, as measured by M. Texier (Asie Mineure, ii. p. 304), is two 
French metres and a half, which corresponds within a small fraction with the 
measurement of our author. Its general character is decidedly Egyptian, strongly 
recalling the Egyptian sculptures at the mouth of the Nahr el Kelb ; yet there are 
points of detail, as the shape of the shoes, in which it is peculiar, and non-Egyptian. 
No figure has been found in Egypt with shoes of which the points have a tendency 
to turn up. Again the clashr or " calasiris " (supra, eh. 81, note 8 ) of an Egyptian 
is never striped or striated, in the way that that of the Ninfi sculpture is. The hat 
or helmet too, though perhaps it bears a greater resemblance to the ordinary 
Egyptian head-dress of the kings and gods than to any other known form, yet wants 
a leading feature of that head-dress — the curious curve projecting in front. (See 
ch. 35, note 4 .) Thus the supposed figure of Sesostris clearly differs from all purely 
Egyptian types. It bears a bow and a spear exactly as described, only that the 
former is in the right and the latter in the left hand ; but this difference may only 
indicate a defect of memory in our author. There are not now any traces of hiero- 
glyphics upon the breast of the figure, but as this portion of the rock is much 
weather-worn, they may have disappeared in the lapse of ages. Some faintly- 
marked characters, including a figure of a bird, intervene between the spear-head 
and the face, in which M. Ampere is said to trace some of the titles of Remeses the 
Great. Rosellini and Kiepert have questioned whether the sculpture is really 
Egyptian, but there seems to be at any rate no doubt that it is one of the figures 
seen by Herodotus, and believed by him to represent Sesostris. (See the remarks 
of M. Texier, Asie Mineure, vol. ii. pp. 305-6.) 

5 Herodotus evidently supposes that one of these is an Egyptian, the other an 
Ethiopian weapon. Both were used by the two people, but the bow was considered 

particularly Ethiopian, as well as Libyan, and " Tosh," W 

the Coptic Ethaush, was a name given to Northern Ethiopia. The land of the nine 

bows was a term applied to Libya, 

which was also called Pint, the " bow," 

Naphtuhim, the son of Mizraim, in Gen. x. 13, is the same as the Egyptian plural 
Niphaiat, "the bows." 

Phut and Lubira are placed together with Ethiopia and Egypt as the helpers of 
"populous No," Thebes, in Nahum (iii. 9); and in EzckieU'xxx. 5)," "Ethiopia 
(Kush), and Libya (Phut), and Lydia (Lud), and all the (Arab) mingled people, and 
Chub (Kub), and the men of the land which is in league," are to fall with Egypt and 
Ethiopia. Lud is not Lydia in Asia Minor. Phut, or Phit, may have been the 
Libyan side of the Nile throughout Egypt and Nubia. It is remarkable that the 
Ethiopian bow is unstrung, that of Libya strung. (See note on Look iii. ch. 21.) 
The expression in hieroglyphics "Phut Ethosh" appears to be the western bank 
of Ethiopia. The bow carried by the Ethiopians in battle is like that of Egypt ; 
that in the name of Northern Ethiopia ("2'osA") resembles the bow now used in 
India. This last is even seen in the hand of one of Sheshonk's (Shishak's) prisoners. 
— [G. W.] 

Chap. 106, 107. RETURN OF SESOSTRIS. 151 

being likewise half Egyptian, half Ethiopian. There is an in- 
scription across the breast from shoulder to shoulder, 13 in the 
sacred character of Egypt, which says, " With my own shoul- 
ders 7 I conquered this land/' The conqueror does not tell who 
he is, or whence he comes, though elsewhere Sesostris records 
these facts. Hence it has been imagined by some of those who 
have seen these forms, that they are figures of Memnon ; s but 
such as think so err very widely from the truth. 

107. This Sesostris, the priests went on to say, upon his 
return home accompanied by vast multitudes of the people 
whose countries he had subdued, 9 was received by his broth- 

6 This is not an Egyptian custom, though Assyrian figures are found with arrow- 
headed inscriptions engraved across them, and over the drapery as well as the body ; 
and the Assyrian figures close to those of Remeses at the NaJtr el Kelb may possibly 
have led to this mistake. — [G. W.] 

7 The idea of strength was often conveyed by this expression, instead of " by 
the force of my arm" (cp. "os humerosque deo similis"). — [G. W.] 

8 Herodotus shows his discrimination in rejecting the notion of his being Mem- 
non, which had already become prevalent among the Greeks, who saw Memnon 
everywhere in Egypt merely because he was mentioned in Homer. A similar error 
is made at the present day in expecting to find a reference to Jewish history on the 
monuments, though it is obviously not the custom of any people to record their 
misfortunes to posterity in painting or sculpture. (See note 1 on ch. 136, and Ap- 
pendix, ch. v.) The Egyptians seem to have taken advantage of Greek credulity in 
persuading visitors that the most remarkable statue, tomb, and temple at Thebes, 
or Abydus, were made by the prince they usually inquired about, and with whose 
history they fancied themselves acquainted ; though Memnon, if he ever existed, 
was not after all an Egyptian, nor even from any part of the valley of the Nile. 
According to Diodorus (ii. 22) he was sem by Teutamus, the 21st king of Assyria 
after Semiramis, with a force of 10,000 Ethiopians and the same number of Susans, 
and 200 chariots, to assist Priam (the brother of his father Tithonus), when being 
killed in an ambuscade by the Thessalians, his body was recovered and burnt by the 
Ethiopians. These were Ethiopians of Asia, and those of Africa did not burn their 
dead. Herodotus also speaks of the palace of Memnon, and calls Susa a Memnon- 
ian city (v. 53, 54, and vii. 151). Strabo and Pausanias agree with Herodotus and 
Diodorus in making Susa the city of Memnon. It is not impossible that the eastern 
Cushites, or Ethiopians, were the original colonisers of the African Cush, from the 
Arabian gulf, and that the Ethiopians mentioned by Eusebius from Manetho, " who 
migrated from the river Indus and settled near to Egypt," at the close of the 18th 
dynasty, were of the same race. (See Historical Notice in the Appendix.) 

The resemblance of the name of Miamun may have confirmed the mistake 
respecting the stela? of Amunmai- (or Mi-amun) Remeses, on the Lycus, as well as 
the temples built by him at Thebes and Abydus, attributed to Memnon ; but the 
vocal statue at Thebes was of Amunoph III. The supposed tomb of Memnon at 
Thebes was of Remeses V., who had also the title of Mi-amun. Strabo (xvii. p. 
1152) says some think Memnon the same as Ismandes, the reputed builder of the 
Labyrinth, according to Diodorus (i. 61), who calls him Mendes, or Marrus. This 
name Ismandes seems to be retained in that of the modern village of Ismcnt, near 
the entrance to the Fy6om, called Isment e' Gebel ("of the hill"), to distinguish it 
from Isment el Bahr ("of the river"), which is on the Nile near Benisoof. Isman- 
des and Osymandyas are the same name. One of the sons of Remeses II. was 
called Semandoo, or Se-munt. The mistake of Memnon cannot well have arisen 
from the word mennu, " buildings " or "palaces," as it would be applied to all others, 
and not to an excavated tomb. — [G. W.] 

9 It was the custom of the Egyptian kings to bring their prisoners to Egypt, and 


er, 1 whom he had made viceroy of Egypt on his departure, at 
Daphnse near Pelusium, and invited by him to a banquet, which 
he attended, together with his sons. Then his brother piled a 
quantity of wood all round the building, and having so done set 
it alight. Sesostris, discovering what had happened, took coun- 
sel instantly with his wife, who had accompanied him to the 
feast, and was advised by her to lay two of their six sons upon 
the fire, and so make a bridge across the flames, whereby the 
rest might effect their escape. Sesostris did as she recommend- 
ed, and thus while two of his sons were burnt to death, he 
himself and his other children were saved. 

108. The king then returned to his own land and took ven- 
geance upon his brother, after which he proceeded to make use 
of the multitudes whom he had brought with him from the 
conquered countries, partly to drag the huge masses of stone 
which were moved in the course of his reign to the temple of 
Yulcan — partly, to dig the numerous canals with which the 
whole of Egypt is intersected. By these forced labours the 

to employ them in public works, as the sculptures abundantly prove, and as Herod- 
otus states (ch. 108). The Jews were employed in the same way : for though at 
first they obtained grazing-lands for their cattle in the land of Goshen (Gen. xlvi. 
34), or the Bucolia, where they tended the king's herds (Gen. xlvii. 6, 27), they were 
afterwards forced to perform various services, like ordinary prisoners of war ; when 
their lives were made " bitter with hard bondage, in mortar, and in brick, and in all 
manner of service in the field" (Exod. i. 14), in building treasure-cities (i. 11), in 
brickmaking (v. 8), and pottery (Ps. lxxxi. 6); in canals, and embankments, and 
public buildings ; though these did not include pyramids, as Josephus supposes. 
To hew and drag stones from the quarries was also a common employment of cap- 
tives ; inscriptions there in late times state that the writers had furnished so many 
stones for a certain temple, as "We have dragged 100 stones for the work of Isis 
in Philae." And the great statue at El Bersheh is represented dragged by numerous 
companies of foreigners (as well as of Egyptians), in the early time of the first 
Osirtasen, in the 21st century before our sera. — [G. W.] 

1 This at once shows that the conqueror here mentioned, is not the early Sesos- 
tris of the 12th dynasty, but the great king of the 19th dynasty; since Manetho 
gives the same account of his brother having been left as his viceroy in Egypt, and 
having rebelled against his authority. Manetho calls his name Arma'is, and the 
king Sethosis, or Ramesses (which are the father's and son's names assigned to one 
person), and places him in the 18th dynasty, though the names of Sethos and Ram- 
pses are repeated again at the beginning of the 19th. He also says that Arma'is was 
called by the Greeks Danaus, that he fled to Greece and reigned at Argos, and that 
Ramesses was called yEgyptus. The monuments have enabled us to correct the 
error respecting Sethos and Rameses, who are shown to be two different kings, 
father and son, and the 19th dynasty began with a different family, Rameses 1., 
Sethos (Sethi, or Osirei I.), and Rameses II.; Ilorus being the last of the 18th. 
The flight of Armais was perhaps confounded with that of the "Stranger Kings," 
who ruled about the close of the 18th dynasty. Tlieir expulsion appears to agree 
with the story of Danaus leading a colony to Argos, which Armais, Hying from his 
brother, could not have done; and one of the last of their kings was '/'<>d/t/t. The 
account given by Diodorus (i. 57) of Armais endeavouring to set fire to his brother's 
tent at night, is more probable than that of the two children related by Herodotus. 
See note 4 on ch. 101, and note 4 on ch. 182. — [G. W.] 


entire face of the country was changed ; for whereas Egypt had 
formerly been a region suited both for horses and carriages, 
henceforth it became entirely unfit for either. 2 Though a flat 
country throughout its whole extent, it is now unfit for either 
horse or carriage, being cut up by the canals, which are ex- 
tremely numerous and run in all directions. The king's object 
was to supply Nile water to the inhabitants of the towns situa- 
ted in the mid-country, and not lying upon the river ; for pre- 

2 It is very possible that the number of canals may have increased in the time 
of Rameses II. : and this, like the rest of Herodotus' account, shows that this king 
is the Sesostris whose actions he is describing. And here again, in his mention of 
the increased number of canals, Herodotus evidently reported the deeds of another 
king, Amun-m-he III. (Mceris of the Lake), who is also considered a claimant to the 
name of Sesostris ; though the use of chariots will not accord with his reign. For 
it is evident that in the time of the Osirtasens, horses and chariots were not known 
in Egypt ; and there is no notice of a horse or chariot, or any monument, before or 
during the reigns of those kings, though the customs of Egypt are so fully portrayed 
in the paintings at Eeni Hassan, and sufficiently so in the tombs at the pyramids for 
this omission not to have been accidental. The first horses and chariots are repre- 
sented at Eileithyiaa of the time of Ames or Amosis, about 1510 b.c. Horses are 
therefore supposed not to have been known in Egypt before the 18th dynasty (see 
Dr. Pickering's 'Races of Man,' p. 373) ; unless indeed the Shepherd-kings intro- 
duced them. They doubtless came from Asia into Egypt ; and though the Egyp- 
tians called a horse Hthor {Htar), they used for the " mare " the Semitic name sus, 
and even susim (with the female sign " t ") for " mares," the same as the plural of 
the Hebrew word 0^0 sus. The Jews applied it to a chariot-horse, the horse for 
riding being Pharas (Faras), IZJ1Q (1 Kings v. 6 ; Ezek. xxvii. 14) : and the same 
as the modern Arabic word for u mare." Fares is "horseman" in Arabic and in 
Hebrew (2 Sam. i. 6). 

The chariot again (called Djolte in hieroglyphics — the Coptic asholte) is " Merke- 
6ai" in Hieratic, a Semitic word agreeing with the Merkebeth rnSHE of Hebrew, 
which, like Pekeb, 23*], is derived from the Semitic rekeb, erkeb (to) "ride," either 
on a horse, a camel, or a car. Merkeb in Arabic answers to " monture " in French, 
and is applied to a boat as well as a camel ; not that a camel, as often supposed, is 
called the " ship of the desert," but the name is rather transferred to ships from 
camels, which were known to Arabs long before ships. Horses seem to have come 
originally from Asia, whence they were introduced into Greece ; but the Greeks 
may have obtained them first from Libya. Mesopotamia sent horses as part of the 
tribute to Thothmes III. of the 18th dynasty, as well as the neighbouring people 
of Upper and Lower Rot-h-n, or Rot-h-no ; the Babylonians bred them for the Per- 
sians ; and in Solomon's time Egypt was noted for its horses (2 Chron. i. 16, 37 ; 
1 Kings x. 29). The Arabs in the army of Xerxes rode on camels ; but they were 
not the people of Arabia, and it is uncertain whether the famous Arab breed of 
horses was introduced, or was indigenous in that country. The Shaso mentioned 
on the monuments are either an Arab race in N. Arabia, or Southern Syria, and 
they are placed in the lists of captives with the Pount, who appear to be a people 
of Arabia (see note 7 on ch. 102). The Shaso are probably the Shos, the name 
given to the Shepherds, or "(Hyk)sos, " " (reges) pastores ; " and as Rameses II. 
fell in with them on his expedition against " Atesh," or " Kadesh," they should be 
a people who lived in, or near, Palestine. It is singular that the title Hyk "ruler" 
(which was also given to the Pharaohs), should from the crook apply doubly to the 
Shepherd-kings. The horse was known in India at least as early as 1200 B.C., being 
mentioned in the Vedas, with chariots, but not for riding. — [G. W.] 


viously they had been obliged, after the subsidence of the floods, 
to drink a brackish water which they obtained from the wells. 3 

109. Sesostris also, they declared, made a division of the soil 
of Egypt among the inhabitants, assigning square plots of ground 
of equal size to all, and obtaining his chief revenue from the 
rent which the holders were required to pay him every year. If 
the river carried away any portion of a man's lot, he appeared 
before the king, and related what had happened ; upon which 
the king sent persons to examine, and determine by measure- 
ment the exact extent of the loss ; and thenceforth only such a 
rent was demanded of him as was proportionate to the reduced 
size of his land. From this practice, I think, geometry first 
came to be known in Egypt, 4 whence it passed into Greece. 
The sun-dial, however, and the gnomon, 5 with the division of 
the day into twelve parts, were received by the Greeks from the 

110. Sesostris was king not only of Egypt, but also of 
Ethiopia. He was the only Egyptian monarch who ever ruled 
over the latter country. 6 He left, as memorials of his reign, the 

3 The water filtrates through the alluvial soil to the inland wells, where it is 
sweet, though sometimes hard ; and a stone reservoir of perfectly sweet water has 
lately been found, belonging to the temple of Medeenet Haboo, at Thebes ; but in 
the desert beyond the alluvial deposit it is brackish, and often salt. See above, n. 
5 on ch. 93.— [G. W.J 

4 See Ap. ch. vii. and n. 6 on ch. 51. 

5 The gnomon was of course part of every dial. Herodotus, however, is correct 
in making a difference between the yv^ixuv and the iro-Xos. The former, called also 
(ttoix^ov, was a perpendicular rod, whose shadow indicated noon, and also by its 
length a particular part of the day, being longest at sunrise and sunset. The iro\os 
was an improvement, and a veal dial, on which the division of the day was set 
off by lines, and indicated by the shadow of its gnomon. See Appendix, en. vii. — 
[G. W.] 

6 This cannot apply to any one Egyptian king in particular, as many ruled in 
Ethiopia ; and though Osirtasen I. (the original Sesostris) may have been the first, 
the monuments show that his successors of the 12th dynasty, and others, ruled and 
erected buildings in Ethiopia. Nor is it certain that Rameses II. was the first who 
obtained possession of Napata; and though the lions of Amunoph III., brought by 
the Duke of Northumberland from Grebe! Bcrkel, were taken fromSoleb (the ancient 
name of this place being in the hieroglyphics upon them), it does not prove that 
the Egyptian arms extended no farther than Soleb in Amuuoph's time ; and the 
name of a Thothmes was found at Gebel Berkcl, by the Duke of Northumberland 
and Colonel Felix. That of Osirtasen I., on the substructions of the Great Temple, 
may have been a later addition, not being in the sculptures. (See n. 7 on ch. 102.) 
Pliny says (vi. 29), "yEgyptiorum bellis attrita est ./Ethiopia; vicissim imperitando, 
serviendoque. Clara et potens etiam usque ad Trojana bella, Memnone regnante, 
et Syria? imperitasse (earn) . . . patet." He has made a mistake about Memnon ; but 
the con-quests are either those of Tirhaka, or of the Kings of Thebes (sometimes im- 
properly included in Ethiopia). 

The Egyptians evidently overran all Ethiopia, and part of the interior of Africa, 
in the time of the 18th and 19th dynasties, and had long before, under the Osirtascns 
and Amun-m-hes, conquered Negro tribes. Thothmes I. recorded other victories 
over Negroes, on a rock opposite Tombos, as Amunoph III. did at Soleb, over many 

Chap. 109, 110. HIS MONUMENTS IN EGYPT. I55 

stone statues which stand in front of the temple of Vulcan, two 
of which, representing himself and his wife, are thirty cubits in 
height, 7 while the remaining four, which represent his sons, are 
twenty cubits. These are the statues, in front of which the 
priest of Vulcan, very many years afterwards, would not allow 
Darius the Persian 8 to place a statue of himself ; " because," 
he said, " Darius had not equalled the achievements of Sesos- 
tris the Egyptian : for while Sesostris had subdued to the full 
as many nations as ever Darius had brought under, he had like- 
wise conquered the Scythians, 9 whom Darius had failed to 

southern districts of Africa ; many of which are called " J9ar." as at the present 
day. Rameses II., who built part of the Great Temple at Gebel Berkel, extended 
his arms further than Amunoph ; and the. first Osirtasen overran a great portion of 
Ethiopia more than six centuries before. Even Osirtasen III. obtained victories 
over Negroes which are recorded at Semneh ; though he appears to be the first who 
made that place the frontier ; and to this the beginning of actual rule in Ethiopia 
may have been applied ; for he also has a claim to the name of Sesostris. The 
Ptolemies continued to have some possessions on the eastern coast of Abyssinia ; 
and the kings of Ethiopia were in alliance with, or perhaps tributary to, them ; but 
the nominal frontier was generally confined to Nubia. The Romans merely extend- 
ed their arms south, to prevent the depredations of the half-savage Ethiopians; for 
in the time of Augustus, Petronius only ravaged the country to Napata, and return 
ed without making any permanent conquests. A fort, however, in the Dar 
Shaikceh, of Roman construction, shows that later emperors extended their rule 
bevond the second cataract, and kept garrisons there. Tacitus says not in his time. 
-[G. W.] 

As the cubits found in Egypt are 1 ft. 8£ in., if Herodotus reckoned by them 
he would make the statues more than 51 ft. high. A Colossus is lying at Memphis 
of Rameses II., which is supposed to be one of the two large ones here mentioned, 
and its height, when entire, would be about 42 ft. 8 in., without the plinth, or ped- 
estal. Of the other four, 20 cubits (above 34 ft.) high, one seems to have been 
found by Hekekyan Bey ; which if entire would be about 34^- feet. All these 
point to the site of the temple of Pthah. — [G. W.] 

* The name of Darius occurs in the sculptures, and great part of the principal 
Temple of El Khargeh, in the Great Oasis, was built by him, his name being the old- 
est there. 

He seems to have treated the Egyptians with far more uniform, lenity than the other 
Persian kings ; and though the names of Cambyses, Xerxes, and Artaxerxes, occur 
on stelae, statues, or vases, they are mostly records of persons who lived during their 
reigns, and are not on any monuments erected by them in Egypt. This accords 
with his indulgent treatment of the priests mentioned by Herodotus ; and the remark 
of Diodorus, that "he obtained while living the appellation of Divus," is justified by 
his having received on the monuments the same honours as the old kings. The re- 
ply of Darius to the Egyptian priest is said by Diodorus (i. 58) to have been, "that 
he hoped not to be inferior to Sesostris, if he lived as long." But his mild govern- 
ment did not prevent the Egyptians from rebelling against him ; and their impatience 
of Persian rule had before been the reason of Cambyses' forsaking the lenient line 
of conduct he first adopted when he conquered the countrv. See below, Book iii. 
ch. 15.— [G. W.] 

9 (See Justin, ii. c. 3.) The conquest of the Scythians by Sesostris is a question 
still undecided. The monuments represent a people defeated by Rameses whose 
name Sheta (or Khita) bears a strong resemblance to the Scythians, but it is evident 
they lived in the vicinity of Mesopotamia, and not in the distant Scythia. It is not 
impossible that they were the same race, established there. (See note 6 on ch. 112.} 
A further examination of the monuments shows that I was wrong in the extent I 

156 PHERON. Book II. 

master. It was not fair, therefore, that he should erect his 
statue in front of the offerings of a king, whose deeds he had 
been unable to surpass." Darius, they say, pardoned the freedom 
of this speech. 

111. On the death of Sesostris, his son Pheron, 1 the priests 
said, mounted the throne. He undertook no warlike expeditions ; 
being struck with blindness, owing to the following circum- 
stance. The river had swollen to the unusual height of eighteen 
cubits, and had overflowed all the fields, when, a sudden wind 
arising, the water rose in great waves. Then the king, in a 
spirit of impious violence, seized his spear, and hurled it into 
the strong eddies of the stream. Instantly he was smitten with 
disease of the eyes, from which after a little while he became 
blind, 2 continuing without the power of vision for ten years. 
At last, in the eleventh year, an oracular announcement reached 
him from the city of Buto, to the effect, that " the time of his 
punishment had run out, and he should recover his sight by 
washing his eyes with urine. He must find a woman who had 
been faithful to her husband, and had never preferred to him 
another man." The king, therefore, first of all made trial of 

have given (At. Eg. W. vol. i. p. 83) to the conquests of the Egyptians ; but Diodo- 
rus extends their conquests still further, and speaks of the Bactrians revolting from 
the rule of Osymandyas. (Diod. i. 4*7.) Strabo (xv. p. 978) says that "Sesostris 
and Tearcon (Tirhaka) actually went into Europe." — [G. W.] 

1 This name does not agree with the son or successor, either of Osirtasen I., of 
Sethos, or of Remeses. Diodorus (i. 59) calls him Sesoosis II., Pliny Nuncoreus. 
Pheron has been supposed to be merely a corruption of Phouro, " the king" (whence 
urnms, see note 2 on ch. 74), or of Pharaoh, properly Phrah, i. e. "the Sun," one of 
the royal titles. Some suppose Pheron to be Phiaro, " the river," retained in the 
modern Arabic, Bahr, "the ocean," (comp. 'H/ceai/dy, an ancient name of the Nile); 
and Phiaro is connected with the King Phuron, or Nilus, and with the ^Egyptus of 
Manetho, "the Nile being formerly called ^Egyptus." (See n. 7 , 8 , on ch. 19.) 

If the Phuron of Eratosthenes was really one of the early kings of the 13th dy- 
nasty, it is possible that the sudden breaking down of the barrier of the Nile at Sil- 
silis, and the momentary submersion of the lands by the sudden flow of the 
water into Egypt, may be the destructive inundation mentioned by Herodotus. — 
[G. W.] 

Lepsius regards this king as Amenophis or Menephthah III., the Pharaoh of the 
Exodus. (Joseph, c. Ap. b. i. sub fin.) He finds his name in the Nuncoreus or 
Nencoreus of Pliny (H. N. xxxvi. 11), which he thinks that writer misread in his 
authority, mistaking MENE*0HC for NENC"PEYc. He supposes Herodotus to have re- 
ceived his account of the king from a Semitic informant, who called him Phero, be- 
cause he was the great Pharaoh of the Jews. (Chronologie der JEgypter, p. 289.) 
In this case the impiety and blindness of the monarch become traits of peculiar 

2 This is one of the Greek ciceroni tales. A Greek poet might make a graceful 
story of Achilles and a Trojan stream, but the prosaic Egyptians would never re- 
present one of their kings performing a feat so opposed to his habits, and to all 
their religious notions. The story about the woman is equally un-Egyptian ; but the 
mention of a remedy which is still used in Egypt for ophthalmia, shows that some 
simple fact has been converted into a wholly improbable tale. — [G. W.] 

Chap. Ill, 112. PROTEUS. 157 

his wife, but to no purpose — he continued as blind as before. 
So he made the experiment with other women, until at length 
he succeeded, and in this way recovered his sight. Hereupon 
he assembled all the women, except the last, and bringing them 
to the city which now bears the name of Erythrabolus (Red-soil), 
he there burnt them all, together with the place itself. The 
woman to whom he owed his cure, he married, and after his re- 
covery was complete, he presented offerings to all the temples 
of any note, among which the best worthy of mention are the 
two stone obelisks which he gave to the temple of the Sun. 3 
These are magnificent works ; each is made of a single stone, 
eight cubits broad, and a hundred cubits in height. 

112. Pheron, they said, was succeeded by a man of Memphis, 
whose name, in the language of the Greeks, was Proteus. 4 
There is a sacred precinct of this king in Memphis, which is 
very beautiful, and richly adorned, situated south of the great 
temple of Vulcan. Phoenicians from the city of Tyre dwell all 
round this precinct, and the whole place is known by the name 
of the camp of the Tyrians. 5 Within the enclosure stands a 
temple, which is called that of Venus the Stranger. 6 I con- 

3 They were therefore most probably at Heliopolis. The height of 100 cubits, 
at least 150 feet, far exceeds that of any found in Egypt, the highest being less than 
100 feet. The mode of raising an obelisk seems to have been by tilting it from an in- 
clined plane into a pit, at the bottom of which the pedestal was placed to receive 
it, a wheel or roller of wood being fastened on each side to the end of the obelisk, 
which enabled it to run down the wall opposite the inclined plane to its proper posi- 
tion. During this operation it was dragged by ropes up the inclined plane, and 
then gradually lowered into the pit as soon as it had been tilted. (See the repre- 
sentation of the mode of raising an obelisk on the pedestal of that at Constantinople.) 
The name obelisk is not Egyptian but Greek, from obelos, a u spit " (infra, ch. 135). 
The Arabs call it meselleh, a "packing needle." — [G. W.] 

4 This is evidently a Greek story. Diodorus (i. 62) says " the Egyptians called 
this king Cetes," which is also a Greek name. Herodotus has apparently transform- 
ed the god of the precinct (who seems to have been Dagon, the Phoenician Fish 
god, often worshipped together with Astarte) into a king who dedicated the pre- 
cinct.— [G. W.] 

5 Many places in Egypt were called "camps," where foreigners lived apart from 
the Egyptians, as the " camps " of the Ionians and Carians (ch. 154) ; of the Baby- 
lonians, afterwards occupied by a Eoman legion (Strabo xvii. p. 1144); of the Jews 
(Josephus, Ant. Jud. 1. xiv. c. 8, s. 2). The " Trojan " camp or village near the 
quarries of the Eastern hills (Strabo xvii. p. 1147) should probably have been the 
" Tyrian" called from the same people — the Phoenicians of Tyre mentioned by 
Herodotus ; and there is more reason to suppose that the Egyptians had granted to 
that commercial people the privilege of residing in a quarter of Memphis than that 
they were a remnant of Manetho's " Phoenician Shepherds," who were expelled 
from Egypt after occupying the Memphite throne. The Egyptians seem also to 
have changed the name of Sur into Tur. (See note 4 , ch. 116). The above mistake 
of Trojan for Tyrian is confirmed by the name of the place being written in those 
quarries " the land of the Phoenix" or Phoenicians. "Tros Tyriusque" (Virg. Mn. 
i. 574) were not always kept distinct.— [G. W. ] 

6 This was evidently Astarte, the Venus of the Phoenicians and Syrians. He- 
rodotus is correct in saying that nowhere else had she a temple dedicated to her 


jecture the building to have been erected to Helen, the daughter 
of Tyndarus ; first, because she, as I have heard say, passed 
some time at the court of Proteus ; and secondly, because the 
temple is dedicated to Venus the Stranger ; for among all the 
many temples of Venus there is no other where the goddess bears 
this title. 

113. The priests, in answer to my inquiries on the subject 
of Helen, 7 informed me of the following particulars. When 
Alexander had carried off Helen from Sparta, he took ship and 
sailed homewards. On his way across the iEgean a gale arose, 8 
which drove him from his course and took him down to the sea 
of Egypt ; hence, as the wind did not abate, he was carried on 
to the coast, when he went ashore, landing at the Salt-Pans, 9 
in that mouth of the Nile which is now called the Canobic. 1 
At this place there stood upon the shore a temple, which still 

under that name, and an intercourse with the Phoenicians may have led to her wor- 
ship at Memphis. The notion of her being Helen arose from the Greek habit of 
seeing Homeric personages everywhere. (See note * on ch. 106.) The Venus Urania 
of Chusse was Athor of Egypt. (See n. 5 , ch. 40 ; and n. 8 , ch. 41.) Astarte is men- 
tioned on the monuments as a goddess of the Sheta or Khita. It is now generally 
supposed that this people were the Hittites, whose country extended to the Euphrates. 
Joshua (i. 4) indeed shows that it reached to that river, when he says " from the 
wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the 
land of the Hittites '' (Khitim); and "the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the 
Egyptians" are spoken of (2 Kings vii. 6) as the terror of the Syrians in the time of 
Elisha. On the monuments the Khita (or Sheta) are placed next to Naharayn in 
the lists of Eastern nations, enemies of the Egyptians, and defeated by them. At 
the Memnonium they are represented routed by Rameses II., and flying across a 
river, on which stands the fort of Atesh or Ketesh, the same that is mentioned in 
the large inscription at Aboosimbel recording the defeat of the Khita (or Sheta) in 
the 5th y r car of the same Pharaoh. There too their country is called a region of 
Nahri or Naharayn (Mesopotamia). Carchemish is supposed to have belonged to 
them. It is very probable (as Mr. Stuart Poole also supposes) that the Khita or 
Hittites were a tribe of Scythians who had advanced to and settled on the Euphrates. 
It is remarkable that the Hittites and Syrians bought Egyptian chariots imported 
by Solomon's merchants (1 Kings x. 29) at a later period of Egyptian history. 
-[G. W.j 

7 The eagerness of the Greeks to "inquire" after events mentioned by Homer, 
and the readiness of the Egyptians to take advantage of it, are shown in this story 
related to Herodotus. The fact of Homer having believed that Helen went to 
Egypt, only proves that the story was not invented in Herodotus' time, but was 
current long before. — [G. W.] 

tl Storms on that coast are not unusual now. Ammianus (xxvi. 10) mentions 
some very violent winds at Alexandria. — [G. W.J 

9 There were several of these salt-pans on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt. 
Those near Pelusium are mentioned in ch. 15. — [G. W. | 

Cf. Stephen of Byzantium ad voc. Tapix™ 1 - 

1 This branch of the Nile entered the sea a little to the E. <j$ the town of fa no- 
pus, close to Ileracleum, which some suppose to be the same as Thonis. It is still 
traced near the W. end of the Lake Etko, and near it are ruins supposed to he the 
site of the city of Hercules, where the temple stood. This temple still existed in 
the time of Strabo. It may have been dedicated to the Tvrian Hercules.— 
[G. W.] 


exists, dedicated to Hercules. If a slave runs away from his 
master, and taking sanctuary at this shrine gives himself up to 
the god, and receives certain sacred marks upon his person, 2 
whosoever his master may be, he cannot lay hand on him. This 
law still remained unchanged to my time. Hearing, therefore, 
of the custom of the place, the attendants of Alexander de- 
serted him, and fled to the temple where they sat as suppliants. 
While there, wishing to damage their master, they accused 
him to the Egyptians, narrating all the circumstances of the 
rape of Helen and the wrong clone to Menelaus. These charges 
they brought, not only before the priests, but also before the 
warden of that mouth of the river, whose name was Thonis. 3 

114. As soon as he received the intelligence, Thonis sent a 
message to Proteus, who was at Memphis, to this effect : " A 
stranger is arrived from Greece ; he is by race a Teucrian, and 
has done a wicked deed in the country from which he is come. 
Having beguiled the wife of the man whose guest he was, he 
carried her away with him, and much treasure also. Compelled 
by stress of weather, he has now put in here. Are we to let 
him depart as he came, or shall we seize what he has brought ?" 
Proteus replied, " Seize the man, be he who he may, that has 
dealt thus wickedly with his friend, and bring him before me, 
that I may hear what he will say for himself." 

115. Thonis, on receiving these orders, arrested Alexander, 
and stopped the departure of his ships ; then, taking with him 
Alexander, Helen, the treasures, and also the fugitive slaves, he 
went up to Memphis. "When all were arrived, Proteus asked 
Alexander, " who he was, and whence he had come ?" Alex- 
ander replied by giving his descent, the name of his country, and 
a true account of his late voyage. Then Proteus questioned 
him as to how he got possession of Helen. In his reply Alex- 
ander became confused, and diverged from the truth, whereon 
the slaves interposed, confuted his statements, and told the 
whole history of the crime. Finally, Proteus delivered judgment 
as follows : " Did I not regard it as a matter of the utmost 
consequence that no stranger driven to my country by adverse 
winds should ever be put to death, I would certainly have 

3 Showing they were dedicated to the service of the Deity. To set a mark on 
any one as a protection was a very ancient custom. Cp. Gen. iv. 15 ; Ezek. ix. 6 ; 
and Revelation. The word " mark " in Ezekiel is tan, in , the Egyptian sign of life. 
-[G. W.] 

The custom seems to be referred to by St. Paul (Gal. vi. 17). 

3 Thonis, or Thon, called by Herodotus governor of the Canopic mouth of the 
Kile, is said by others to have'been the name of a town on the Canopic branch. 
Sec note * on ch. 113.— [G. W.] 


avenged the Greek by slaying thee. Thou basest of men, — 
after accepting hospitality, to do so wicked a deed ! First, 
thou didst seduce the wife of thy own host — then, not content 
therewith, thou must violently excite her mind, and steal her 
away from her husband. Nay, even so thou wert not satisfied, 
but on leaving, thou must plunder the house in which thou 
hadst been a guest. Now then, as I think it of the greatest 
importance to put no stranger to death, I surfer thee to depart ; 
but the woman and the treasures I shall not permit to" be carried 
away. Here they must stay, till the Greek stranger comes in 
person and takes them back with him. For thyself and thy 
companions, I command thee to begone from my land within 
the space of three days — and I warn you, that otherwise at the 
end of that time you will be treated as enemies." 

116. Such was the tale told me by the priests concerning 
the arrival of Helen at the court of Proteus. It seems to me 
that Homer was acquainted with this story, and while discarding 
it, because he thought it less adapted for epic poetry than the 
version which he followed, showed that it was not unknown to 
him. This is evident from the travels which he assigns to 
Alexander in the Iliad — and let it be borne in mind that he 
has nowhere else contradicted himself — making him be carried 
out of his course on his return with Helen, and after divers wan- 
derings come at last to Sidon 4 in Phoenicia. The passage is 
in the Bravery of Diomed, 5 and the words are as follows : — 

" There were the robes, many-coloured, the work of Sidonian women : 
They from Sidon had come, what time god-shaped Alexander 
Over the broad sea brought, that way, the high-born Helen." 

4 Sidon, now Sayda, signifies " fishing place," and Sayd in Arabic is applied to 
"fish" or "game." The first letter, S, Ts, or Tz, is the same in Hebrew as that of 
Tyre, Sur, or Tzur, and these towns are now called Sur (Soor) and Sayda. See n. 
on B. vii. ch. 72. The termination of Sidon signified "great." In Joshua xi. 8, 
and xix. 28, "great Zidon " is a doubtful reading. Herodotus very properly ranks 
the Sidonians before the Tyrians (viii. C7), and Isaiah calls Tyre daughter of Sidon 
(xxiii. 12), having been founded by the Sidonians. Sidon is in Genesis (x. 19), but 
no Tyre; and Homer only mentions Sidon and not "Tyre" as Strabo observes. It 
maybe "doubtful which was the metropolis of Phoenicia," in later times; Sidon, 
however, appears to be the older city (xvi. p. 1075). Plutarch might doubt the 
great antiquity of Tyre, not being noticed by Homer and " other old and wise 
men;" but it is mentioned by Joshua (xix. 29). Q. Curtius (iv. 4) considers that 
both it and Sidon were founded by Agenor. The modern Sidon is small, not half a 
mile in length, and a quarter in breadth. — [G. W.] 

5 II. vi. :MM>-2. It has been questioned whether this reference to a portion of 
the Iliad as "The Bravery of Diomed" can have come from the hand of Herodotus. 
(Valcknaer ad loc. Heyne ad Horn. II. vol. viii. p. 787.) But there seems to be do 
sufficient reason for doubting a passage which is in all the MSS., and has no appear- 
ance of being an interpolation. As early as Plato's time portions of the Iliad 
and Odyssey were certainly distinguished by special titles (see Plat. Cratyl. p. 428, 


In the Odyssey also the same fact is alluded to, in these 
words : G — 

u Such, so wisely prepared, were the drugs that her stores afforded, 
Excellent ; gift which once Polydamna, partner of Thonis, 
Gave her in Egypt, where many the simples that grow in the meadows, 
Potent to cure in part, in part as potent to injure." 

Menelaus too, in the same poem, thus addresses Telema- 
chus : 7 — 

" Much did I long to return, but the gods still kept me in Egypt — 
Angry because I had failed to pay them their hecatombs duly." 

In these places Homer shows himself acquainted with the 
voyage of Alexander to Egypt, for Syria borders on Egypt, and 
the Phoenicians, to whom Sidon belongs, dwell in Syria. 

117. From these various passages, and from that about 
Sidon especially, it is clear that Homer did not write the Cy- 
pria. 8 For there it is said that Alexander arrived at Ilium 
with Helen on the third day after he left Sparta, the wind 
having been favourable, and the sea smooth ; whereas in the 
Iliad, the poet makes him wander before he brings her home. 
Enough, however, for the present of Homer and the Cypria. 

118. I made inquiry of the priests, whether the story which 
the Greeks tell about Ilium is a fable, or no. In reply they rela- 
ted the following particulars, of which they declared that Mene- 
laus had himself informed them. After the rape of Helen, a 
vast army of Greeks, wishing to render help to Menelaus, set 
sail for the Teucrian territory ; on their arrival they disembarked, 
and formed their camp, after which they sent ambassadors to 
Ilium, of whom Menelaus was one. The embassy was received 
within the walls, and demanded the restoration of Helen with 
the treasures which Alexander had carried off, and likewise 
required satisfaction for the wrong done. The Teucrians gave 
at once the answer in which they persisted ever afterwards, back- 
ing their assertions sometimes even with oaths, to wit, that 

C. ; Minos, p. 319, D.), and it is probable that the practice of so distinguishing them 
began with the early Rhapsodists. The objection that the passage quoted is from 
II. vi., and not II. v., which now bears the title of "Diomed's Bravery," is of no 
importance, for our present division of the books dates from Aristarchus, and in the 
time of Herodotus a portion of the sixth book may have been included under the 
heading confined afterwards to the fifth. 

6 Odyss. iv. 227-230. 

7 lb. iv. 351-2. 

8 The criticism here is better than the argument. There can be no doubt that 
Homer was not the author of the rambling epic called ' The Cypria.' (Cf. Arist. 
Poet. 23; ProcL 471-6, ed. Gaisf.) It was probably written by Stasinus. (Athen. 
viii. p. 334; Schol. II. i. 5; Tzetzes Chil. ii. 710.) 

Vol. II.— 11 


neither Helen, nor the treasures claimed, were in their posses- 
sion, — both the one and the other had remained, they said, in 
Egypt ; and it was not just to come upon them for what Pro- 
teus, king of Egypt, was detaining. The Greeks, imagining 
that the Teucrians were merely laughing at them, laid siege to 
the town, and never rested until they finally took it. As, how- 
ever, no Helen was found, and they were still told the same 
story, they at length believed in its truth, and despatched Mene- 
laus to the court of Proteus. 

119. So Menelaus travelled to Egypt, and on his arrival 
sailed up the river as far as Memphis, and related all that had 
happened. He met with the utmost hospitality, received Helen 
back unharmed, and recovered all his treasures. After this 
friendly treatment Menelaus, they said, behaved most unjustly 
towards the Egyptians ; for as it happened that at the time 
when he wanted to take his departure, he was detained by the 
wind being contrary, and as he found this obstruction continue, 
he had recourse to a most wicked expedient. He seized, they 
said, two children of the people of the country, and offered them 
up in sacrifice. 9 When this became known, the indignation of 
the people was stirred, and they went in pursuit of Menelaus, 
who, however, escaped with his ships to Libya, after which the 
Egyptians could not say whither he went. The rest they knew 
full well, partly by the inquiries which they had made, and 
partly from the circumstances having taken place in their own 
land, and therefore not admitting of doubt. 

120. Such is the account given by the Egyptian priests, and 
I am myself inclined to regard as true all that they say of Helen 
from the following considerations : — If Helen had been at Troy, 
the inhabitants would, I think, have given her up to the Greeks, 
whether Alexander consented to it or no. For surely neither 
Priam, nor his family, could have been so infatuated as to en- 
danger their own persons, their children, and their city, merely 
that Alexander might possess Helen. At any rate, if they de- 
termined to refuse at first, yet afterwards when so many of the 
Trojans fell on every encounter with the Greeks, and Priam too 
in each battle lost a son, or sometimes two, or three, or even 
more, if we may credit the epic poets, I do not believe that even 

9 This story recalls the " Sanguine placastis ventos, et virgine cresa," Virg. Mrx. 
ii. 116, and Herodotus actually records human sacrifices in Achaia, or Fhthiotis 
(vii. 197). Some have attributed human sacrifices to the Egyptians; and Virgil 
says "Quis illaudati nescit Busiridia aras" (Georg. iii. 5); but it must be quite 
evident that such a custom was inconsistent with the habits of the civilised Egyp- 
tians, and Herodotus has disproved the probability of human sacrifices in Egypt by 
his judicious remarks in ch. 45. (See note 3 ad loc.) — [G. W.] 

Chap. 119-121. RHAMPSINITUS. 153 

if Priam himself had been married to her he would have declined 
to deliver her up, with the view of bringing the series of calami- 
ties to a close. Nor was it as if Alexander had been heir to 
the crown, in which case he mifflit have had the chief nianage- 
ment of affairs, since Priam was already old. Hector, who was 
his elder brother, and a far braver man, stood before him, and 
was the heir to the kingdom on the death of their father Priam. 
And it could not be Hector's interest to uphold his brother in 
his wrong, when it brought such dire calamities upon himself 
and the other Trojans. But the fact was that they had no 
Helen to deliver, and so they told the Greeks, but the Greeks 
would not believe what they said — Divine Providence, as I 
think, so willing, that by their utter destruction it might be 
made evident to all men that when great wrongs are done, the 
gods will surely visit them with great punishments. Such, at 
least, is my view of the matter. 

121. (1.) When Proteus died, Ehampsinitus, 1 the priests 
informed me, succeeded to the throne. His monuments were, 
the western gateway of the temple of Vulcan, and the two 
statues which stand in front of this gateway, called by the 
Egyptians, the one Summer, the other Winter, each twenty-five 
cubits in height. The statue of Summer, which is the northern- 
most of the two, is worshipped by the natives, and has offerings 
made to it : that of Winter, which stands towards the south, is 
treated in exactly the contrary way. King Rhampsinitus was 
possessed, they said, of great riches in silver, — indeed to such 
an amount, that none of the princes, his successors, surpassed or 
even equalled his wealth. For the better custody of this 
money, he proposed to build a vast chamber of hewn stone, one 
side of which was to form a part of the outer wall of his palace. 
The builder, therefore, having designs upon the treasures, con- 
trived, as he was making the building, to insert in this wall a 
stone, 2 which could easily be removed from its place by two 

1 This is evidently the name of a Remeses, and not of a king of an early dynasty. 
The first individual called Remeses mentioned on the monuments was a person of 
the family of Amosis, the first king of the 18th dynasty. Some chambers in the 
great temple at Medeenet Haboo, built by Remeses III., where the gold and silver 
vases and other precious things are portrayed in the sculptures, recall the treasury 
of Rhampsinitus ; and it is not improbable (as suggested in At. Eg. vols. i. p. 85, ii. 
358, and in Mater. Hiera. p. 96) that these were the same king. Diodorus calls him 
Rhamphis. Herodotus says he erected the great Propylsea on the West of the temple 
of Phtha (Vulcan), at Memphis, which would also prove him to have reigned after the 
founders of the pyramids, and at least as late as the 18th or 19th dynasty, as those 
pyramidal towers (called Propylaea by Herodotus) were not added to temples till the 
accession of the 18th dynasty. See below, ch. 155, note 4 . — [G. W.] 

2 This story has been repeated in the Pecorone of Ser Giovanni, a Florentine of 



men, or even by one. So the chamber was finished, and the 
king's money stored away in it. Time passed, and the builder 
fell sick, when finding his end approaching, he called for his two 
sons, and related to them the contrivance he had made in the 
king's treasure-chamber, telling them it was for their sakes he 
had done it, that so they might always live in affluence. Then 
he gave them clear directions concerning the mode of removing 
the stone, and communicated the measurements, bidding them 
carefully keep the secret, whereby they would be Comptrollers 
of the Koyal Exchequer so long as they lived. Then the father 
died, and the sons were not slow in setting to work ; they went 
by night to the palace, found the stone in the wall of the build- 
ing, and having removed it with ease, plundered the treasury of 
a round sum. 

(2.) When the king next paid a visit to the apartment, he 
was astonished to see that the money was sunk in some of the 
vessels wherein it was stored away. Whom to accuse, however, 
he knew not, as the seals were all perfect, and the fastenings of 
the room secure. Still each time that he repeated his visits, 
he found that more money was gone. The thieves in truth 
never stopped, but plundered the treasury ever more and more. 
At last the king determined to have some traps 3 made, and set 
near the vessels which contained his wealth. This was done, 
and when the thieves came, as usual, to the treasure-chamber, 
and one of them entering through the aperture, made straight 
for the jars, suddenly he found himself caught in one of the 
traps. Perceiving that he was lost, he instantly called his 
brother, and telling him what had happened, entreated him to 
enter as quickly as possible and cut off his head, that when his 
body should be discovered it might not be recognised, which 
would have the effect of bringing ruin upon both. The other 
thief thought the advice good, and was persuaded to follow it ; 
— then, fitting the stone into its place, he went home, taking 
with him his brother's head. 

(3.) When day dawned, the king came into the room, and 
marvelled greatly to see the body of the thief in the trap without 
a head, while the building was still whole, and neither entrance 
nor exit was to be seen anywhere. In this perplexity he com- 

the fourteenth century, who substitutes a doge of Venice for the king. Also in 
other tales. (See Dunlop's Hist, of Fiction, vol. ii. p. 382.) A secret entrance by a 
moveable stone is a favourite notion of the Arabs, owing to many hidden passages 
in Egyptian temples having been closed by the same means. — [G. W.] 

3 Traps for birds and hyenas are often represented in the paintings (see above, 
note 3 , ch. 77); but one which the robber and his brother were unable to open 
would require to be very ingeniously contrived. — [G. W*.] 


mandecl the body of the dead man to be hung up outside the 
palace wall, and set a guard to watch it, with orders that if any 
persons were seen weeping or lamenting near the place, they 
should be seized and brought before him. When the mother 
heard of this exposure of the corpse of her son, she took it sorely 
to heart, and spoke to her surviving child, bidding him devise 
some plan or other to get back the body, and threatening, that 
if he did not exert himself, she would go herself to the king, 
and denounce him as the robber. 

(4.) The son said all he could to persuade her to let the 
matter rest, but in vain : she still continued to trouble him, 
until at last he yielded to her importunity, and contrived as 
follows : — Filling some skins with wine, he loaded them on 
donkeys, which he drove before him till he came to the place 
where the guards were watching the dead body, when pulling 
two or three of the skins towards him, he untied some of the 
necks which dangled by the asses' sides. The wine poured 
freely out, whereupon he began to beat his head, and shout with 
all his might, seeming not to know which of the donkeys he 
should turn to first. When the guards saw the wine running, 
delighted to profit by the occasion, they rushed one and all into 
the road, each with some vessel or other, and caught the liquor 
as it was spilling. The driver pretended anger, and loaded 
them with abuse ; whereon they did their best to pacify him, 
until at last he appeared to soften, and recover his good humour, 
drove his asses aside out of the road, and set to work to re- 
arrange their burthens ; meanwhile, as he talked and chatted 
with the guards, one of them began to rally him, and make him 
laugh, whereupon he gave them one of the skins as a gift. 
They now made up their minds to sit down and have a drinking- 
bout where they were, so they begged him to remain and drink 
with them. Then the man let himself be persuaded, and stayed. 
As the drinking went on, they grew very friendly together, so 
presently he gave them another skin, upon which they drank so 
copiously that they were all overcome with the liquor, and 
growing drowsy lay down, and fell asleep on the spot. The 
thief waited till it was the dead of the night, and then took 
down the body of his brother ; after which, in mockery, he 
shaved off the right side of all the soldiers' beards, 4 and so left 

4 This is a curious mistake for any one to make who had been in Egypt, since 
the soldiers had no beards, and it was the custom of all classes to shave. This we 
know from ancient authors, and, above all, from the sculptures, where the only per- 
sons who have beards are foreigners. Herodotus even allows that the Egyptians 
shaved their heads and beards (ch. 36; cp. Gen. xli. 4). Joseph when sent for 


thein. Laying his brother's body upon the asses, he carried it 
home to his mother, having thus accomplished the thing that 
she had required of him. 

(5.) When it came to the king's ears that the thief's body 
was stolen away, he was sorely vexed. Wishing therefore, what- 
ever it might cost, to catch the man who had contrived the 
trick, he had recourse (the priests said) to an expedient, which 
I can scarcely credit. He sent his own daughter 5 to the common 
stews, with orders to admit all comers, but to require every man 
to tell her what was the cleverest and wickedest thing he had 
done in the whole course of his life. If any one in reply told 
her the story of the thief, she was to lay hold of him, and, not 
allow him to get way. The daughter did as her father willed, 
whereon the thief, who was well aware of the king's motive, felt 
a desire to outdo him in craft and cunning. Accordingly he 
contrived the following plan : — He procured the corpse of a man 
lately dead, and cutting off one of the arms at the shoulder, put 
it under his dress, and so went to the king's daughter. When 
she put the question to him as she had done to all the rest, he 
replied, that the wickedest thing he had ever done was cutting 
off the head of his brother when he was caught in a trap in the 
king's treasury, and the cleverest was making the guards drunk 
and carrying off the body. As he spoke, the princess caught 
at him, but the thief took advantage of the darkness to hold 
out to her the hand of the corpse. Imagining it to be his own 
hand, she seized and held it fast ; while the thief, leaving it in 
her grasp, made his escape by the door. 

(6.) The king, when word was brought him of this fresh 
success, amazed at the sagacity and boldness of the man, sent 
messengers to all the towns in his dominions to proclaim a free 
pardon for the thief, and to promise him a rich reward, if he 
came and made himself known. The thief took the king at his 
word, and came boldly into his presence ; whereupon Khamp- 

from prison by Pharaoh, " shaved himself and changed his raiment." Herodotus 
could not have learnt this story from the Egyptians, and it is evidently from a Greek 
source. The robber would have been too intent on his object to lose time or run 
the risk of waking the guards. The disgrace of shaving mens beards in the East is 
certainly very great, but they have them there, the Egyptians had not. — [G. W.] 

6 This in a country where social ties were so much regarded, and where the dis- 
tinction of royal and noble classes was more rigidly maintained than in the most ex- 
clusive community of modern Europe, shows that the story was of foreign origin. 
The arm of a dead man would have been difficult to obtain ; but the marriage of an 
Egyptian king's daughter with a man of low family and a robber was a gross fabri- 
cation even for a Greek cicerone. This and the stories of the daughter of Cheops, 
and of Myeerinus, are as illustrative of Greek, as those in the Decameron of Boccac- 
cio are of Italian, ideas; and the pleasure it gave the Greeks to repeat such tales 
about kings and their daughters made them overlook the improbability. — [G. W.] 


sinitus, greatly admiring him, and looking on him as the most 
knowing of men, gave him his daughter in marriage. "The 
Egyptians/' he said, " excelled all the rest of the world in wis- 
dom, and this man excelled all other Egyptians." 

122. The same king, I was also informed by the priests, 
afterwards descended alive into the region which the Greeks 
call Hades, 6 and there played at dice with Ceres, sometimes 
winning and sometimes suffering defeat. After a while he re- 
turned to earth, and brought with him a golden napkin, a gift 
which he had received from the goddess. From this descent 
of Rhampsinitus into Hades, and return to earth again, the 
Egyptians, I was told, instituted a festival, which they certainly 
celebrated in my day. On what occasion it was that they in- 
stituted it, whether upon this or upon any other, I cannot 
determine. The following are the ceremonies : — On a certain 
day in the year the priests weave a mantle, and binding the 
eyes of one of their number with a fillet, they put the mantle 
upon him, and take him with them into the roadway conducting 
to the temple of Ceres, when they depart and leave him to him- 
self. Then the priest, thus blindfolded, is led (they say) by 
two wolves 7 to the temple of Ceres, distant twenty furlongs 
from the city, where he stays awhile, after which he is brought 
back from the temple by the wolves, and left upon the spot 
where they first joined him. 

123. Such as think the tales told by the Egyptians credible 
are free to accept them for history. For my own part, I propose 
to myself throughout my whole work faithfully to record the 
traditions of the several nations. The Egyptians maintain that 
Ceres and Bacchus 8 preside in the realms below. They were 
also the first to broach the opinion, that the soul of man is im- 
mortal, 9 and that, when the body dies, it enters into the form 

6 Hades was called in Egyptian Ament or Amenti, over which Osiris presided as 
judge of the dead. Plutarch (de Isid. s. 29) supposes it to mean the "receiver and 
giver." It corresponded, like Erebus, to the West, called Eraent by the Egyptians, 
the place of darkness, where the sun set (see note 1 on ch. 44). By Ceres Herodotus 
means Isis, to whom she was supposed to correspond. He seems to doubt that the 
festival commemorated that fabulous descent of the king; and with good reason, as 
it is very un-Egyptian. — [G. W.] 

7 Wolves are not uncommon in Egypt. They are not gregarious, as in other 
countries, but generally prowl about singly or by twos. The animal, however, re- 
presented in Amenti is not a wolf; it is a jackal, the emblem of Anubis, and painted 
black, in token of its abode there. The wolf, fox, and dog, were all sacred to An- 
ubis ; and were treated alike, being of the same genus. See above, ch. 67, note 3 . 

8 Answering to Isis and Osiris, who were the principal deities of Amenti. — 
[G. W.] 

'•' This was the great doctrine of the Egyptians, and their belief in it is every- 


of an animal 1 which is born at the moment, thence passing on 
from one animal into another, until it has circled through the 

where proclaimed in the paintings of the tombs. (See At. Eg. W. pi. 88.) But the 
souls of wicked men alone appear to have suffered the disgrace of entering the 
body of an animal, when, "weighed in the balance" before the tribunal of Osiris, 
they were pronounced unworthy to enter the abode of the blessed. The soul was 
then sent back in the body of a pig (lb. pi. 87), and the communication between 
him and the place he has left is shown to be cut off by a figure hewing away the 
ground with an axe. Cicero (Tusc. Disp. i. 16) says the immortality of the soul was 
first taught by Pherecydes of Svros, the preceptor of Pythagoras, "which was chief- 
ly followed out by his disciple ; " but this could only allude to its introduction into 
Greece, since it had been the universal belief in Egypt at least as early as the 3rd 
and 4th dynasty, more than 1500 years before. Old, too, in Egypt were the Pytha- 
gorean notions that nothing is annihilated ; that it only changes its form ; and 
that death is reproduction into life, typified by the figure of an infant at the ex- 
tremity of an Egyptian tomb, beyond the sarcophagus of the dead. (See Ovid. 
Met. xv. 165, 249, 254, 455.) The same is a tenet of " the Vedantes of India, and 
of the Sophis of Persia; " and the destroyer Siva or Mahadeva is also the god of 
Generation. (Sir W. Jones, vol. i. p. 256). Cp. Lucret. i. 266: — 

" Res non posse creari 

De nihilo, neque item genitaa ad nil revocari." 

Plato and Pythagoras, says Plutarch (de PI. Phil. iv. 7), " agree that the soul is im- 
perishable .... the animal part alone dies." See note 6 , ch. 51, and two following 
notes.— [G. W.] 

1 The doctrine of the Metempsychosis or Metensomatosis was borrowed from 
Egypt by Pythagoras. (See foregoing and following note.) It was also termed by 
the Greeks kvk\os audyKris, " circle (orbit) of necessity; " and besides the notion of 
the soul passing through different bodies till it returned again to that of a man, 
some imagined that after a certain period all events happened again in the same 
manner as before — an idea described in these lines by Virgil, Eclog. iv. 34: 

" Alter erit turn Tiphys, et altera quae vehat Argo 
Delectos Heroas, erunt etiam altera holla, 
Atque iterum ad Trojam magnus mittetur Achilles." 

Pythagoras even pretended to recollect the shield of Euphorbus, whose body his 
soul had before occupied at the Trojan war. (Hor. i. Od. xxiii. 10 ; Ovid. Metam. 
xv. 160, 163; Philost. Vit. Apollon. Tyan. i. 1.) The transmigration of souls is 
also an ancient belief in India, and the Chinese Budhists represent men entering the 
bodies of various animals, who in the most grotesque manner endeavour to make 
their limbs conform to the shape of their new abode. It was even a doctrine of 
the Pharisees according to Josephus (Bell. Jud. ii. 8, 14); and of the Druids, though 
these confined the habitation of the soul to human bodies (Cresar. Comm. B. Gall, 
vi. 13; Tacit, Ann. xiv. 30 ; Hist. iv. 54; Diodor. v. 31; Strabo, iv. 197.) Plato 
says (in Phaedro), "no souls will return to their pristine condition till the expiration 
of 10,000 years, unless they be of such as have philosophised sincerely. These in 
the period of 1000 years, if they have thrice chosen this mode of life in succession . . : 
shall in the 3000th year fly away to their pristine abode, but other souls being 
arrived at the end of their first life shall be judged. And of those who are judged, 
some proceeding to a subterranean place shall there receive the punishments they 
have deserved; and others being judged favourably shall be elevated to a celestial 
place .... and in the 1000th year each returning to the election of a second life, 
shall receive one agreeable to his desire. . . . Here also the soul shall pass into a 
beast, and again into a man, if it has first been the soul of a man." This notion, 
like that mentioned by Herodotus, appears to have grown out of, rather than to 
have represented, the exact doctrine of the Egyptians; and there is every indication 
in the Egyptian sculptures of the souls of good men being admitted at once, after a 
favourable judgment had been passed on them, into the presence of Osiris, whose 
mysterious name they were permitted to assume. Men and women were then both 

Chap. 124. CHEOPS. 169 

forms of all the creatures which tenant the earth, the water, and 
the air, after which it enters again into a human frame, and ia 
born anew. The whole period of the transmigration is (they 
say) three thousand years. There are Greek writers, some of 
an earlier, some of a later date, 2 who have borrowed this doctrine 
from the Egyptians, and put it forward as their own. I could 
mention their names, but I abstain from doing so. 

124. Till the death of Khampsinitus, the priests said, Egypt 
was excellently governed, and flourished greatly ; but after him 
Cheops succeeded to the throne, 3 and plunged into all manner 

called Osiris, who was the abstract idea of " goodness," and there was no distinction 
of sex or rank when a soul had obtained that privilege. All the Egyptians were 
then " equally noble ; " but not, as Diodorus (i. 92) seems to suppose, during life- 
time ; unless it alludes to their being a privileged race compared to foreign people. 
In their doctrine of transmigration, the Egyptian priests may in later times have 
converted what was at first a simple speculation into a complicated piece of super- 
stition to suit their own purposes ; and one proof of a change is seen in the fact of 
the name of " Osiris" having in the earliest times only been given to deceased kings ; 
and not to other persons. — [G. W.] 

2 Pythagoras is supposed to be included among the later writers. Herodotus, 
with more judgment and fairness, and on better information, than some modern 
writers, allows that the Greeks borrowed their early lessons of philosophy and 
science from Egypt. Clemens says repeatedly that "the Greeks stole their philos- 
ophy from the Barbarian " (Strom, i. p. 303 ; ii. p. 358 ; vi. p. 612, and elsewhere) ; 
and observes that Plato does not deny its origin (Strom, i. p. 355). The same is 
stated by Diodorus, Plutarch (de Is. s. 10), Philo, and many other ancient writers, 
some of whom censure the Greeks for their vanity and disregard of truth; and the 
candour of Herodotus on this subject is highly creditable to him. It was not agree- 
able to the Greeks to admit their obligations to "barbarians," and their vanity led 
them to attribute everything, even the words of foreign languages, to a Greek 
origin. So too in religion; and Iamblichus says (De Myst. vii. 5), " the search after 
the truth is too troublesome for the Greeks." — [G. W.] 

3 It is evident that Herodotus had the names of two sets of kings mentioned to 
him ; the first coming down to the Theban Remeses (Rhampsinitus), the other con- 
taining the Memphite dynasties, in which were Cheops and the other builders of 
the pyramids, who were in fact older even than the Sesostris of the 12th dynasty. 
The 330 kings were mentioned to him as the whole number ; and the Theban and 
Memphite lists were a separate and detailed account of the succession. Of these 
two lists he gives merely these names : — 

Thinites and Thebans. 












Those who follow, Sabaco and others, are of later dynasties. But even Moeris is 
confounded with a later king, and the exploits of Sesostris belong principally to 
Sethos and his son Remeses — the first kings of the 19th dynasty, who as well as 
Pheron and Rhampsinitus were Theban princes. It is necessary to mention this, to 
account for the apparent anachronism ; but other questions respecting the succession 
of these Memphite kings will be unnecessary here ; and I shall only notice their 
order as given by Herodotus. The name of Cheops, perhaps, more properly Shefo, 
or Shufu, translated by Eratosthenes KofxacTT^s, has been ingeniously explained by 
Professor Rosellini as " the long-haired," which the Egyptian shofo or shufu signifies 
(from/o, "hair"). Cheops is written more correctly by Manetho "Suphis." Diodorus 


of wickedness. He closed the temples, and forbade the Egyp- 
tians to offer sacrifice, compelling them instead to labour, one 
and all, in his service. Some were required to drag blocks of 
stone down to the Nile from the quarries in the Arabian range 
of hills ; 4 others received the blocks after they had been conveyed 
in boats across the river, and drew them to the range of hills 
called the Libyan. 5 A hundred thousand men laboured con- 
stantly, and were relieved every three months by a fresh lot. 
It took ten years' oppression of the people to make the causeway 6 
for the conveyance of the stones, a work not much inferior, in 

calls him Chemmis or Chembes, and places seven kings between him and Rhampsinitus 
or Rhemphis (i. 63 ; see note 1 on ch. 127). The wickedness related of Cheops by Her- 
odotus agrees with Manetho's account, " that he was arrogant towards the gods ; 
but, repenting, he wrote the Sacred Book." — [G. W.] 

4 The quarries are still worked in the mountain on the E. of the Nile behind 
Toora and Masarah ; and hieroglyphic inscriptions are found there of early kings. 
Ptolemy calls the mountain Tpw'iKov \i&ov upos, from the neighbouring village of 
Troja. The blocks used in building the pyramids were partly from those quarries, 
and partly from the nummulite rock of the Libyan hills, but the outer layers or coat- 
ing were of the more even-grained stone of the Eastern range (see note b on ch. 8). 
The pyramids and the tombs about them prove that squared stone and even granite 
had long been employed before the 4th dynasty ; and from the skill they had arrived 
at in carving granite, we may conclude that hewn stone must have been used even 
before the reign of Tosorthrus, second king of the 3rd dynasty, who was evidently the 
same as Athothis, the son of Menes. The pick, stone-saw, wedge, chisel, and other 
tools were already in use when the pyramids were built. — [G. W.] 

5 The western hills being specially appropriated to tombs in all the places where 
pyramids were built will account for these monuments being on that side of the Nile. 
The abode of the dead was supposed to be the West, the land of darkness where 
the sun ended his course ; and the analogy was kept up by the names Fme?it, the 
"west," and Amenti, the "lower regions of Hades" (see note 6 on ch. 122). Some 
tombs were in the Eastern hills, but this was because they happened to be near the 
river, and the Libyan hills were too distant ; and the principal places of burial, as 
at Thebes and Memphis, were on the W. The only pyramids on the E. bank are 
in Upper Ethiopia. Tombs of Egyptians being seldom found in Nubia may be ow- 
ing to their considering it " a foreign land," and being therefore buried in the holy 
ground of Egypt. In like manner many preferred the sacred Abydus to their own 
towns as a place of sepulture, in order to be near to Osiris. — [G. W.] 

6 The remains of two causeways still exist — the northern one, which is the larg- 
est, corresponding with the great pyramid, as the other does with the third. The 
outer stones have fallen or been pulled down, so that no traces remain of " the fig- 
ures of animals," or hieroglyphics. Its length of 5 stadia, 3000 or 3050 feet, has 
been reduced to about 1424, though in Pococke's time it measured 1000 yards, which 
very nearly corresponded with the measurement of Herodotus. It is now only 32 
feet broad, little more than half the 10 orgyies (or fathoms) of Herodotus, but the 
height of 85 feet exceeds his 8 orgyies. And as the causeway must necessarily have 
been as high as the hill or plateau to which the stones were conveyed, and as Her- 
odotus gives 100 feet for the height of the hill, which is from 80 to 85 English feet 
where the causeway joins it, his 8 orgyies or 48 feet must be an oversight of the 
historian, or of his copyists. This causeway served for both the great pyramids. 
Some, however, attribute it to the Caliphs, because Diodorus says it had disappeared 
in his time, owing to the sandy base on which it stood ; but the ground is not of so 
sandy a nature as to cause its fall, and the other causeway, leading to the third 
pyramid, which the Caliphs could have had no object in constructing, is of the same 
kind of masonry. It is probable the Caliphs repaired the northern one, when the 

Chap. 124. 



my judgment, to the pyramid 7 itself. This causeway is five 
furlongs in length, ten fathoms wide, and in height, at the high- 
est part, eight fathoms. It is built of polished stone, and is 
covered with carvings of animals. To make it took ten years, 
as I said — or rather to make the causeway, the works on the 

stones of the pyramids were removed to erect mosks, walls, and other buildings in 
Cairo. An opening, covered over by a single block, was left for persons to pass 
through, who travelled by land during the inundation, which still remains in the 
southern causeway. — [G. W.] 

1 The name of pyramid in Egyptian appears to be br-br ; but Mr. Kenrick, in a 
note on ch. 136, judiciously observes that "pyramid " is probably Greek on the fol- 
lowing authority: — " Etym. M. voc. Uvpafxis, 7) 4k irvpwv xai ^eAiros, &o-rrep <re<ra,iu?, 
7} en (read/nwv /cat (UeAiTos." Uvpa/dovs (he adds) was another name for the same kind 
of cake . . . the ariaafxis was atyaipoeiSris (Athen. p. 646); the -nvpafxh, which was 
pointed and used in the Bacchic rites, may be seen on the table at the reception of 
Bacchus by Icarus, and Hope's Costumes, vol. ii. pi. 224. That the name of the 
mathematical solid was derived from an object of common life, and not vice versa, 
may be argued from analogy : a<paipa Avas a hand-ball ; nvfios, a die for gaming ; 
kwuos, a boy's top ; nvAivdpos, a husbandman's or gardener's roller. The Arabic ahram 
or hdram seems to be taken from the Greek name. — [G. W.] 


mound 8 where the pyramid stands, and the underground cham- 
bers, which Cheops intended as vaults for his own use : these 
last were built on a sort of island, surrounded by water intro- 
duced from the Nile by a canal. 9 The pyramid itself was 
twenty years in building. It is a square, eight hundred feet 
each way, 1 and the height the same, built entirely of polished 
stone, fitted together with the utmost care. The stones of 
which it is composed are none of them less than thirty feet in 
length. 2 

125. The pyramid was built in steps, 3 battlement-wise, as it 

6 This was levelling the top of the hill to form a platform. A piece of rock 
was also left in the centre as a nucleus on which the pyramid was built, and which 
may still be seen within it to the height of 72 feet above the level of the ground. — 
[G. W.] 

9 There is no trace of a canal, nor is there any probability of its having existed, 
from the appearance of the rock, or from the position of the pyramid, standing as it 
does upwards of 100 feet above the level of the highest inundation. — [G. W.] 

1 The dimensions of the great pyramid were — each face, 756 ft., now reduced 
to 732 ft. ; original height when entire, 480 ft. 9 in., now 460 ft. 9 in. ; angles at 
the base, 51° 50' ; angle at the apex, 76 Q 20' ; it covered an area of 571,536 square 
feet, now 535,824 square feet. 

Herodotus' measurement of eight plethra, or 800 ft., for each face, is not very 
far from the truth as a round number ; but the height, which he says was the same, 
is far from correct, and would require a very different angle from 51° 50' for the 
slope of the faces. — [G. W.] 

Perhaps Herodotus does not intend vertical height, which he would have no 
means of measuring, but the height of the sloping side, which he may even have 
measured (infra, ch. 127) from one of the ayigles at the base to the apex. In this 
case his estimate would not be so very wrong, for the length of the line from the 
apex to the ground at one of the angles of the base would have exceeded 700 feet. 

2 The size of the stones varies. Herodotus alludes to those of the outer sur- 
face, which are now gone ; but it may be doubted if all, even at the lower part, 
were 30 feet in length. On the subject of the pyramids see M. Eg. W. p. 319 to 
371._[G. W.] 

3 These steps, or successive stages, had their faces nearly perpendicular, or at 
an angle of about 75°, and the triangular space, formed by each projecting con- 
siderably beyond the one immediately above it, was afterwards filled in, thus com- 
pleting the general form of the pyramid. This was first suggested by Mr. Wild, 
who observed that " if he had to build a pyramid he should proceed in that man- 
ner;" for I had supposed it confined to the Third Pyramid, instead of being a gen- 
eral system of construction. (M. Eg. W. 
i. 349.) On each of these stages the ma- 
chines Herodotus mentions were placed, 
which drew up the stones from one to the 
other. Two explanations of "the upper 
portion of the pyramid being finished 
first " — may be given — one that it was ad- 
ding the pyramidal apex, and filling up the 
triangular spaces as they worked down- 
wards ; the other that (after the triangular 
spaces had been filled in) it referred to 
their cutting away the projecting angles of 

the stones, and bringing the whole mass to a smooth level surface, which could on- 
ly be done "as they descended, the step immediately below serving as a resting- 
place, in lieu of scaffolding, on which the men worked" (as mentioned in If. Eg. W. 

Chap. 125. PYRAMID OF CHEOPS. 173 

is called, or, according to others, altar-wise. After laying the 
stones for the base, they raised the remaining stones to their 
places by means of machines 4 formed of short wooden planks. 
The first machine raised them from the ground to the top of the 
first step. On this there was another machine, which received 
the stone upon its arrival, and conveyed it to the second step, 
whence a third machine advanced it still higher. Either they 
had as many machines as there were steps in the pyramid, or 
possibly they had but a single machine, which, being easily 
moved, was transferred from tier to tier as the stone rose — both 
accounts are given, and therefore I mention both. The upper 
portion of the pyramid was finished first, then the middle, and 
finally the part which was lowest and nearest the ground. There 
is an inscription in Egyptian characters 5 on the pyramid which 

i. 340). Dr. Lepsius thinks that the size of a pyramid shows the duration of the 
king's reign who built it ; as additions could be made to the upright sides of the 
stages at any time before the triangular spaces were filled in ; but though a large 
pyramid might require and prove a long reign, we cannot infer a short one from a 
small pyramid. Nor could the small pyramids be the nuclei of larger ones, which 
kings did not live to finish ; and the Plan will show that want of space would effect- 
ually prevent their builders hoping for such an extension of their monuments. Any 
one of those before the First (or the Third) Pyramid would interfere with it, and 
with their smaller neighbours. 

It is a curious question if the Egyptians brought with them the idea of the pyra- 
mid, or sepulchral mound, when they migrated into the valley of the Nile, and if it 
originated in the same idea as the tower, built also in stages, of Assyria, and the 
pagoda of India. — [G. W.] 

4 The notion of Diodorus that machines were not yet invented is sufficiently 
disproved by common sense and by the assertion of Herodotus. It is certainly 
singular that the Egyptians, who have left behind them so many records of their 
customs, should have omitted every explanation of their mode of raising the enor- 
mous blocks they used. Some have imagined inclined planes, without recollecting 
what their extent would be when of such a height and length of base ; and though 
the inclined plane may have been employed for some purposes, as it was in sieges 
by the Assyrians and others, as a "bank" (2 Kings xix. 32; 2 Sam. xx. 15), for 
running up the moveable towers against a perpendicular wall, it would be difficult 
to adapt it to the sloping faces of a pyramid, or to introduce it into the interior of a 
large temple. The position of these pyramids is very remarkable in being placed 
so exactly facing the four cardinal points that the variation of the compass may be 
ascertained from them. This accuracy would imply some astronomical knowledge 
and careful observations at that time. — [G. W.] 

5 This must have been in hieroglyphics, the monumental character. The outer 
stones being gone, it is impossible to verify, or disprove, the assertion of Herodotus, 
which, however, would have nothing improbable in it, provided it was not confined 
to the simple inscription he gives. That hieroglyphics were already used long 
before the pyramids were built is certain, as they were found by Colonel Howard 
Vyse in the upper chambers he opened, written on the blocks before they were 
built in, and containing the name of Shofo, or Shufu (Suphis). The cursive style 
of these hieroglyphics shows that they had been in use a long time before. The 
names of the two Shufus on those blocks seem to prove that the Great Pyramid was 
the work of two kings; and this may explain its having two chambers. (See n. \ 
ch. 127.)—[G. W.] 


records the quantity of radishes, 6 onions, and garlick 7 consumed 
by the labourers who constructed it ; and I perfectly well re- 
member that the interpreter who read the writing to me said 
that the money expended in this way was 1600 talents of silver. 
If this then is a true record, what a vast sum must have been 
spent on the iron tools 8 used in the work, and on the feeding and 
clothing of the labourers, considering the length of time the work 
lasted, which has already been stated, and the additional time — 
no small space, I imagine — which must have been occupied by 
the quarrying of the stones, their conveyance, and the formation 
of the underground apartments. 

126. The wickedness of Cheops reached to such a pitch that, 
when he had spent all his treasures and wanted more, he sent 
his daughter to the stews, with orders to procure him a certain 
sum — how much I cannot say, for I was not told ; she procured 
it, however, and at the same time, bent on leaving a monument 
which should perpetuate her own memory, she required each 
man to make her a present of a stone towards the works which 
she contemplated. With these stones she built the pyramid 
which stands midmost of the three that are in front of the great 
pyramid, measuring along each side a hundred and fifty feet. 9 

127. Cheops reigned, the Egyptians said, fifty years, and 
was succeeded at his demise by Chephren, his brother. 1 

6 This is the Raphanus sativus var. editlis of Linnaeus, the figl of modern Egypt, 
so much eaten by the modern as well as the ancient peasants. It has been called 
" horse-radish," which would have been pungent food for the Egyptians. But that 
root docs not grow in the country. Strabo mentions lentils, which doubtless con- 
stituted their chief food of old, as at present ; and it is not probable that they were 
limited to the three roots mentioned by Herodotus. The notion of the geographer 
that the rock contains lentils, the petrified residue of the food of the workmen, is 
derived from the small fossils contained in that nummulite limestone. Their ap- 
pearance misled him. — [G. W.] 

7 Though garlick grows in Egypt, that brought from Syria is most esteemed. 
Till the name " Syrian " was tabooed in Cairo, during the war, those who sold it in 
the streets cried u Tom shamce" "Syrian garlick; " it was then changed to " infa 
e' torn," " garlick is useful."— [G. W.] 

8 Iron was known in Egypt at a very early time. The piece of iron found by 
Colonel Howard Vyse, imbedded between two stones of the great pyramid, may 
have been placed there when the pyramid was built, or have been forced between 
them when the Arabs were removing the blocks; and there is other bettor evidence 
of the use of iron by the ancient Egyptians. See above, note 9 on ch. 86. — [6. W.] 

9 In this pyramid the name of king Mcnchercs (or Mycerinus?) is painted on 
the flat roof of its chamber, but his sarcophagus was found in the Third Pyramid. 
(See n. 4 , ch. 129.) The story of the daughter of Cheops is on a par with that of 
the daughter of Rhampsinitus ; and y>c may be certain that Herodotus never 
received it from "the priests," whose language he did not understand, but from 
some of the Greek "Interpreters," by whom he was so often misled. — [G. W.] 

1 Manetho mentions Suphis II., or Sen-Suphis, i. c. " brother of Suphis." It is 
evident that two brothers could not have reigned successively 50 and 56 years, or 
G3 and 66, according to Manetho; nor have built two such immense monuments, 

Chap. 126, 127. PYRAMID OF CHEPHREN. 175 

Chephren imitated the conduct of his predecessor, and, like 
him, built a pyramid, which did not, however, equal the dimen- 
sions of his brother's. Of this I am certain, for I measured 
them both my self. It has no subterraneous apartments, nor any 
canal from the Nile to supply it with water as the other pyramid 
has. In that, the Nile water, introduced through an artificial 
duct, surrounds an island, where the body of Cheops is said to lie. 
Chephren built his pyramid close to the great pyramid of Cheops, 
and of the same dimensions, except that he lowered the height 
forty feet. For the basement he employed the many-coloured 
stone of Ethiopia. 2 These two pyramids stand both on the same 

each requiring a long reign. These two Suphises are the Shofo, or Shufu, 

and Nou, or Noum-Shufu, 

of the monuments. They appear to have ruled together during the greater part 
of their reign, and Nou-Shufu or Suphis II., having survived his brother, was con- 
sidered his successor. Another king has been thought by some to be Cephren ; 

his name reads Shafre, 

and as he is called "of the little pyramid," he has been thought to be the builder 
of the second, before it was enlarged. The name of Noum-Shufu is found on a 
reversed stone in one of the tombs near the Second Pyramid, which bears in other 
parts the names of both these Shufus. 

The measurements of the Second Pyramid are : — present base, 690 ft. ; former 
base (according to Colonel Howard Vyse), 70*7 ft. 9 in. ; present perpendicular 
height (calculating the angle 52° 20'), 446 ft. 9 in. ; former height, 454 ft. 3 in. 

Herodotus supposes it was 40 feet less in height than the Great Pyramid, but 
the real difference was only 24 ft. 6 in. 

It is singular that Herodotus takes no notice of the sphinx, which was made at 
least as early as the 18th dynasty, as it bears the name of Thothmes IV. The 
Egyptians called it Hor-m-kho, or Re-m-sho, "the sun in his resting-place" (the 
western horizon), which was converted by the Greeks into Armachis. — [G. W.] 

2 This was red granite of Syene ; and Herodotus appears to be correct in saying 
that the lower tier was of that stone, or at least the casing, which was all that he 
could see; and the numbers of fragments of granite lying about this pyramid show 
that it has been partly faced with it. The casing which remains on the upper part 
is of the limestone of the eastern hills. All the pyramids were opened by the Arab 
caliphs in the hopes of finding treasure. Pausanias (iv. ix. 36) points at Herodotus 


hill, an elevation not far short of a hundred feet in height. The 
reign of Chephren lasted fifty-six years. 

128. Thus the affliction of Egypt endured for the space of 
one hundred and six years, during the whole of which time the 
temples were shut up and never opened. The Egyptians so 
detest the memory of these kings that they do not much like 
even to mention their names. Hence they commonly call the 
pyramids after Philition, 3 a shepherd who at that time fed his 
flocks about the place. 

129. After Chephren, Mycerinus 4 (they said) son of Cheops, 
ascended the throne. This prince disapproved the conduct of 
his father, re-opened the temples, and allowed the people, who 
were ground down to the lowest point of misery, to return to 
their occupations, and to resume the practice of sacrifice. His 
justice in the decision of causes was beyond that of all the 
former kings. The Egyptians praise him in this respect more 
highly than any of their other monarchs, declaring that he not 
only gave his judgments with fairness, but also, when any one 
was dissatisfied with his sentence, made compensation to him 
out of his own purse, and thus pacified his anger. Mycerinus 
had established his character for mildness, and was acting as I 

when he says " the Greeks admire foreign wonders more than those of their own 
country, and some of their greatest historians have described the pyramids of Egypt 
with the greatest precision, though they have said nothing of the royal treasury of 
Minyas, nor of the walls of Tirynthus, which are not less wonderful than those 
pyramids." Aristotle (Polit. vii. 11) considers them merely the result of great 
labour, displaying the power of kings, and the misery inflicted on the people ; which 
Pliny has re-echoed by calling them an idle and silly display of royal wealth and of 
vanity (xxxvi. 12). Later writers have repeated this, without even knowing the 
object they were built for, and it would be unjust to suppose them merely monu- 
mental.— [G. W.] 

3 This can have no connexion with the invasion, or the memory, of the Shep- 
herd-kings, at least as founders of the pyramids, which some have conjectured ; for 
those monuments were raised long before the rule of the Shepherd-kings in Egypt. 
— [G. W.] 

In the mind of the Egyptians two periods of oppression may have gradually 
come to be confounded, and they may have ascribed to the tyranny of the Shepherd- 
kings what in reality belonged to a far earlier time of misrule. It should not be 
forgotten that the Shepherds, whether Philistines, Hittites, or other Scythe, would 
at any rate invade Egypt from Palestine, and so naturally be regarded by the Egyp- 
tians as Philistines. Hence perhaps the name of Pelusium (= Philistine-town) 
applied to the last city which they held in Egypt. (See Lepsius, Chron. der Egyp- 
ter, i. p. 341.) 

4 He is called Mencheres by Manetho, and Mecherinus by Diodorus. In the 

hieroglyphics the name is B \j y ^ y \ y ) which reads Menrka-re, 
Men-ku-re, or Men-ker-re. — [G. W.] 

Chap. 128-132. THE GOLDEN COW AT SAIS. 177 

have described, when the stroke of calamity fell on him. First 
of all his daughter died, the only child that he possessed. Ex- 
periencing a bitter grief at this visitation, in his sorrow he con- 
ceived the wish to entomb his child in some unusual way. He 
therefore caused a cow to be made of wood, and after the interior 
had been hollowed out, he had the whole surface coated with 
gold ; and in this novel tomb laid the dead body of his daughter. 

130. The cow was not placed underground, but continued 
visible to my times : it was at Sais, in the royal palace, where 
it occupied a chamber richly adorned. Every day there are 
burnt before it aromatics of every kind ; and all night long a 
lamp is kept burning in the apartment. 5 In an adjoining 
chamber are statues which the priests at Sais declared to repre- 
sent the various concubines of Mycerinus. They are colossal 
figures in wood, of the number of about twenty, and are repre- 
sented naked. Whose images they really are, I cannot say — I 
can only repeat the account which was given to me. 

131. Concerning these colossal figures and the sacred cow, 
there is also another tale narrated, which runs thus : " Myceri- 
nus was enamoured of his daughter, and offered her violence — 
the damsel for grief hanged herself, and Mycerinus entombed 
her in the cow. Then her mother cut off the hands of all her 
tiring-maids, because they had sided with the father, and be- 
trayed the child ; and so the statues of the maids have no hands." 
All this is mere fable in my judgment, especially what is said 
about the hands of the colossal statues. I could plainly see that 
the figures had only lost their hands through the effect of time. 
They had dropped off, and were still lying on the ground about 
the feet of the statues. 

132. As for the cow, the greater portion of it is hidden by a 
scarlet coverture ; the head and neck, however, which are visible, 
are coated very thickly with gold, 6 and between the horns there 
is a representation in gold of the orb of the sun. The figure is 
not erect, but lying down, with the limbs under the body ; the 
dimensions being fully those of a large animal of the kind 
Every year it is taken from the apartment where it is kept, and 
exposed to the light of day — this is done at the season when the 

5 This is evidently, from what follows (see ch. 132), in honour of a deity, and 
not of the daughter of Mycerinus ; and the fact of the Egyptians lamenting, and 
beating themselves in honour of Osiris, shows that the cow represented either 
Athor, or Isis, in the character of a goddess of Amenti. (See Plut. de Isid. et Osir. 
s. 39.) Herodotus very properly doubts the story about the daughter and the con- 
cubines of Mycerinus, which he thinks a mere fable. — [G. W.] 

6 The gold used by the Egyptians for overlaying the faces of mummies, and or- 
namental objects, is often remarkable for its thickness.— [G. W.] 

Vol. II.— 12 


Egyptians beat themselves in honour of one of their gods, whose 
name I am unwilling to mention in connexion with such a matter. 7 
They say that the daughter of Mycerinus requested her father 
in her dying moments to allow her once a year to see the sun. 

133. After the death of his daughter, Mycerinus was visited 
with a second calamity, of which I shall now proceed to give an 
account. An oracle reached him from the town of Buto, 8 which 
said, " Six years only shalt thou live upon the earth, and in the 
seventh thou shalt end thy days." Mycerinus, indignant, sent 
an angry message to the oracle, reproaching the god with his 
injustice — " My father and uncle," he said, " though they shut 
up the temples, took no thought of the gods, and destroyed mul- 
titudes of men, nevertheless enjoyed a long life ; I, who am pious, 
am to die so soon \" There came in reply a second message from 
the oracle — " For this very reason is thy life brought so quickly 
to a close — thou hast not done as it behoved thee. Egypt was 
fated to suffer affliction one hundred and fifty years — the two 
kings who preceded thee upon the throne understood this — thou 
hast not understood it." Mycerinus, when this answer reached 
him, perceiving that his doom was fixed, had lamps prepared, 
which he lighted every day at eventime, and feasted and enjoyed 
himself unceasingly both day and night, moving about in the 
marsh-country 9 and the woods, and visiting all the places that 
he heard were agreeable sojourns. His wish was to prove the 
oracle false, by turning the nights into days, and so living twelve 
years in the space of six. 

134. He too left a pyramid, but much inferior in size to his 
father's. 1 It is a square, each side of which falls short of three 

7 This was Osiris. See notes on chs. 60, 61, 85, and 130.— [G. W.] 

8 See notes 2 , 3 on ch. 155. 

9 These were the resort of the wealthy Egyptians who wished to enjoy the 
pleasures of the chase. They were also places of refuge in time of danger, to which 
Anysis, Amyrtaeus, and others fled. — [G. W.] 

1 The measurements of this pyramid are — length of base 333 feet ; former length, 
according to Col. H. Vyse, 354-6 ; present perpendicular height 203'7 inches; former 
height, according to Col. H.Vyse, 218*0; angle of the casing 51°. Herodotus says it was 
much smaller than that of Cheops, being 20 feet short of 3 plethra each face, or 280 
feet ; but this is too little, and Pliny gives it 363 Roman feet, or about 350 English 
feet ; observing at the same time that, though smaller than the other two, it was 
far more beautiful, on account of the granite that coated it ; which Herodotus and 
Strabo say reached only half-way up, or according to Diodorus to the fifteenth tier. 
It now extends 36 feet 9 inches from the base on the Western, and 25 feet 10 on 
the Northern side. The granite stones have bevelled edges, a common style of 
building in Egypt, Syria, and Italy, in ancient times; and round the entrance a 
space has been cut into the surface of the stones, as if to let in some ornament, prob- 
ably of metal, which bore an inscription containing the king's name, or some 
funeral sculptures, similar to those in the small chambers attached to the pyramids 
of Gebel Berkel. In this pyramid were found the name and coffin of Mencheres. — 
[G. W.] 

Chap. 133, 134. 



plethra by twenty feet, and is bnilt for half its height of the 
stone of Ethiopia. Some of the Greeks call it the work of Rho- 
dopis 2 the courtezan, but they report falsely. It seems to me 
that these persons cannot have any real knowledge who Rhodopis 

2 Her real name was Doricha, and Rhodopis, " the rosy-cheeked," was merely 
an epithet. It was under this name of Doricha that she was mentioned by Sappho ; 
and that Herodotus was not mistaken in calling her Rhodopis, as Athenaeus sup- 
poses (Deipn. xiii. p. 596), is fully proved by Strabo. Rhodopis when liberated re- 
mained in Egypt ; where even before Greeks resorted to that country foreign women 
often followed the occupations of the modern " Almeh." They are figured on the 
monuments dancing and playing musical instruments to divert parties of guests, and 
are distinguished by their head-dress from native Egyptian women. The reason of 
her having been confounded with Nitocris was owing, as Zoega suggested, to her 
having been also called " the rosy-cheeked," like the Egyptian Queen, who is de- 
scribed by Eusebius (from Manetho) as "flaxen haired with rosy cheeks." JElian's 
story of Psammetichus being the king into whose lap the eagle dropped the sandal 
of Rhodopis, and of her marriage with him (Julian, Var. Hist. xiii. 33), shows that 
he mistook the princess Neitakri of the 26th dynasty, the wife of Psammetichus III., 
for the ancient Nitocris (Neitakri). (See note 2 on ch. 100.) Strabo, from whom 
iElian borrowed it, does not mention the name of the king, but says that the pyr- 

amid was erected to the memory of "Doricha, as she is called by Sappho, whom 
others name Rhodope." (Strabo, xvii. p. 1146.) Diodorus (i. 64) says "some think 
the pyramid was erected as a tomb for Rhodopis by certain monarchs who had loved 
her," an idea borrowed from the mention of Psammetichus and the twelve monarchs 
or kings. ■ The third pyramid was said by Eusebius and Africanus to have been 
built by Nitocris, the last of the 8th dynasty ; and it is very possible that both she 
and Mencheres (Mycerinus) may have a claim to that monument. We know that 
the latter was buried there, not only from Herodotus, but from the coffin bearing 
his name found there by Colonel Howard Vyse. There is, however, reason to be- 
lieve the pyramid was originally smaller, and afterwards enlarged, when a new en- 


was ; otherwise they would scarcely have ascribed to her a work 
on which uncounted treasures, so to speak, must have been ex- 
pended. Khodopis also lived during the reign of Amasis, not of 
Mycerinus, and was thus very many years later than the time of 
the kings who built the pyramids. She was a Thracian by 
birth, and was the slave of Iadmon, son of Hephaestopolis, a Sa- 
mian. iEsop, the fable-writer, was one of her fellow-slaves. 3 
That iEsop belonged to Iadmon is proved by many facts — 
among others, by this. When the Delphians, in obedience to 
the command of the oracle, made proclamation that if any one 
claimed compensation for the murder of iEsop he should receive 
it, 4 the person who at last came forward was Iadmon, grand- 
son of the former Iadmon, and he received the compensation. 
^Esop therefore must certainly have been the former Iadmon's 

135. Rhodopis really arrived in Egypt under the conduct of 
Xantheus the Samian ; she was brought there to exercise her 
trade, but was redeemed for a vast sum by Charaxus, a Myti- 
leneean, the son of Scamandronymus, and brother of Sappho the 
poetess. 5 After thus obtaining her freedom, she remained in 

trance was made, and the old (now the upper) passage to the chamber was closed 
by the masonry of the larger pyramid built over its mouth. This may be better ex- 
plained by the diagram, reduced from Colonel Howard Vyse's Plate. And this ren- 
ders it possible, and even probable, that the third pyramid had two occupants, the 
last of whom may have been Nitocris. Herodotus shows the impossibility of this 
pyramid having been built by the Greek Rhodopis, because she lived in the reign 
of Amasis, very many years after the death of the founders of those monuments ; 
but Lucan, notwithstanding this, buries Amasis himself there, "Pyramidum tumulis 
evulsus Amasis," and even the Ptolemies, who were not born when Herodotus wrote 
his history — 

" Cum Ptolcmaeorum manee . . . ., 
Pyramides claudant . . . ." 

but neither time nor facts embarrass a poet. — [G. W.] 

3 JEsop is said to have been, like Rhodopis, a Thracian. (Heraclid. Pont. Fr. 
x. ; Schol. ad Arist. Av. 411.) According to Eugaeon (Fr. 3), he was a native of 

4 Plutarch (De sera Num. Vind. p. 556, F.) tells us that iEsop, who was on in- 
timate terms with Croesus (cf. Suidas), was despatched by him to Delphi, with orders 
to make a magnificent sacrifice, and give the Delphians four mince a-piece. In con- 
sequence, however, of a quarrel which he had with them, .Esop after his sacrifice 
gave the Delphians nothing, but sent all the money back to Sardis. Hereupon the 
Delphians got up a charge of sacrilege against him, and killed him by throwing him 
down from the rock Hyampaa (infra, viii. 39). The Scholiast on Aristophanes 
(Vesp. 1440) adds, that the occasion of quarrel was a jest of the poet's, who rallied 
the Delphians on their want of landed property, and their submitting to depend on 
the sacrifices for their daily food. They contrived their revenge by hiding one of 
the sacred vessels in his baggage, and then after his departure pursuing him 
and discovering it. To this last fact Aristophanes alludes. (Vesp. 1440-1, ed. 

5 Charaxus, the brother of Sappho, traded in wine from Lesbos, which he was in 

Chap. 135. 



Egypt, and as she was very beautiful, amassed great wealth, for 
a person in her condition ; not, however, enough to enable her to 
erect such a work as this pyramid. Any one who likes may go 
and see to what the tenth part of her wealth amounted, and he 
will thereby learn that her riches must not be imagined to have 
been very wonderfully great. Wishing to leave a memorial of 
herself in Greece, she determined to have something made the 
like of which was not to be found in any temple, and to offer it 
at the shrine at Delphi. So she set apart a tenth of her posses- 
sions, and purchased with the money a quantity of iron spits, 6 
such as are fit for roasting oxen whole, whereof she made a 
present to the oracle. They are still to be seen there, lying of 
a heap, behind the altar which the Chians dedicated, opposite 
the sanctuary. Naucratis seems somehow to be the place where 
such women are most attractive. First there was this Khodopis 
of whom we have been speaking, so celebrated a person that her 
name came to be familiar to all the Greeks ; and, afterwards, there 
was another, called Archidice, notorious throughout Greece, 
though not so much talked of as her predecessor. Charaxus, 
after ransoming Khodopis, returned to Mytilene, and was often 
lashed by Sappho in her poetry. But enough has been said on 
the subject of this courtezan. 

the habit of taking to Naucratis, the entrepot of all Greek merchandise. (Strabo, 
xvii. p. 1146.) It is probable that both he and Rhodopis were lampooned by 
Sappho, since in Herodotus the word " niv" seems to refer to the former, while 
Athenasus says it was Rhodopis. According to Ovid (Her. Ep. 15) this Sappho was 
the same whose love for Phaon made her throw herself from the Leucadian rock 
into the sea (Strabo, x. p. 311): but others mention two Sapphos, one of Mytilene, 
the other of Eresus, in Lesbos. (^Elian. Var. Hist. xii. 9. Athenseus, Deipn. xiii. 
p. 596.)— [G. W.] 

6 Similar spits, or skewers, of three or four feet long, have been found in the 
Etruscan tombs, arranged in the same manner as the small ones still in use in the 
East. (See woodcut.)— [G. W.] 



136. After Mycerinus, the priests said, Asychis 7 ascended 
the throne. He built the eastern gateway 5 of the temple of 
Vulcan, which in size and beauty far surpasses the other three. 
All the four gateways have figures graven on them, and a vast 
amount of architectural ornament, but the gateway of Asychis 
is by far the most richly adorned. In the reign of this king, 
money being scarce and commercial dealings straitened, a law 
was passed that the borrower might pledge his father's body 9 to 
raise the sum whereof he had need. A proviso was appended to 
this law, giving the lender authority over the entire sepulchre of 
the borrower, so that a man who took up money under this 
pledge, if he died without paying the debt, could not obtain 
burial either in his own ancestral tomb, or in any other, nor 
could he during his lifetime bury in his own tomb any member of 
his family. The same king, desirous of eclipsing all his predeces- 

7 The hieroglyphical name of this king is not known. It resembles that of the 
Sabacos, whose names were represented by a crocodile, Savak, the Greek a-ovxos. 
He could not be one of those of the 13th dynasty, since Memphis was then in the 
hands of the Shepherd-kings, nor is he likely to have been the Sabaco who is said 
by Manetho to have put Bocchoris, the Saite, to death, and whom Herodotus ap- 
pears to mention in ch. 137 ; but as Diodorus (i. 94) speaks of Sasyches, a predeces- 
sor of Sesostris, who made great additions to the laws of Egypt, and who is evidently 
the Asychis of Herodotus, it is more probable that he was Shishak, of the 22nd 
dynasty (perhaps partly confounded with some other king), which is confirmed by 
Joseph us (Bell. Jud. vi. 10) calling the Egyptian king who took Jerusalem Asochasus. 
— [G. W.] 

B The lofty pyramidal towers forming the facades of the courts, or vestibules, of 
the temple. See notes on chs. 91 and 155. — [G. W.] 

9 The Egyptians, like other people, found the necessity of enacting new laws 
concerning debt at different times. This of Asychis gave the creditor the right of 
taking possession of the tomb of the debtor, which was the greatest pledge, since he 
could not be buried unless the debt had been paid. It was the right of burial he 
lost, not the body of the father, as fathers could not be supposed to die convenient- 
ly to stand security for their sons, and the law would have foreseen the possibility 
of there being many sons of one father. Usury was forbidden, as with the Jews 
(Ps. xx. 5 ; Levit. xxv. 36, 37), and Moslems; and the interest was not allowed to 
increase beyond double the original sum. The goods really belonging to the debtor 
might be seized, but not his person, since every individual was looked upon as be- 
longing to the state, which might require his services, and it was considered unjust 
to punish his family by depriving him of the power of supporting them. (Diodor. 
i. 78.) This law was introduced by Bocchoris, who also enacted that no agreement 
should be binding without a contract in writing; and if any one took an oath that 
the money had not been lent him, the debt was not recognized, unless a written 
agreement could be produced. The number of witnesses, required for the execution 
of the most trifling contract, is shown by those discovered at Thebes, of the time of 
the Ptolemies ; where sixteen names are appended to the sale of the moiety of cer- 
tain sums collected on account of a few tombs, and of services performed to the 
dead, amounting only to 400 pieces of brass. (Dr. Young's Discovs. in Eg. Lit.) 
So great a number also proves how necessary they thought it to guard against " false 
witness," which was even provided for in the Jewish covenant by a distinct com- 
mandment. See At. Eg. W. vol. ii. pp. 49, 57, 70. — [G. W.] 

Chap. 136. 



sors upon the throne, left as a monument of his reign a pyramid 
of brick. 1 It bears an inscription, cut in stone, which runs thus : — 

1 The use of crude brick was general in Egypt, for dwelling-houses, tombs, and 
ordinary buildings, the walls of towns, fortresses, and of the sacred enclosures of 
temples, and for all purposes where stone was not required, which last was nearly 
confined to temples, quays, and reservoirs. Even some small ancient temples were 
of crude bricks, which were merely baked in the sun, and never burnt in earlv 




Book II. 

" Despise ine not in comparison with the stone pyramids ; 2 for I 
surpass them all, as much as Jove surpasses the other gods. A 
pole was plunged into a lake, and the mud which clave thereto 
was gathered ; and bricks were made of the mud, and so I was 
formed." Such were the chief actions of this prince. 

137. He was succeeded on the throne, they said, by a blind 
man, a native of Any sis/ whose own name also was Anysis. 

Pharaonic times. A great number of people were employed in this extensive man- 
ufacture ; it was an occupation to which many prisoners of war were condemned, 
who, like the Jews, worked for the king, bricks being a government monopoly. 
The process is represented at Thebes, and is rendered doubly interesting from its 
exact correspondence with that described in Exodus (v. 7-19), showing the hardness 
of the work, the tales of bricks, the bringing of the straw, and the Egyptian task- 
masters set over the foreign workmen. Aristophanes (Birds, 1132, and Frogs, 
1647) speaks of the Egyptian bricklayers and labourers as noted workmen, but 
without describing the manufacture of bricks. 

The Theban bricks of Thothmes III. measure 1 ft. by O7o, and (V55 in thickness, 
weighing 37 lbs. 10 ozs. ; and one of Amunoph III., in the British Museum, is 0"11'3 
inches by 0'5*8 and 0-3*9 in thickness, and weighs 13 lbs. ; but those of the pyramid 
of Howara are 1 ft. 5 in. by 0-8-8 to 0-8'9 and 0*3-8 thick, and weigh 48 lbs. 
6 ozs. 

They were frequently stamped with a king's name while making, as Roman 
burnt bricks were with the names of a god, a place, a consul, a legion, a maker, or 
with some other mark. Yitruvius thinks that crude bricks were not fit for use in 
Italy, till they were two years old ; and the people of Utica kept them for five 
years. (Vitruv. 2, 3.) Though the Jews are not distinctly mentioned on the Egyp- 
tian monuments, and the copyists of Manetho have confounded them with the 
Shepherds, it is not impossible that the name of the city of Abaris may point to 
that of the Hebrews, or Abarim p-ns? (Gen. xi. 15). — [G. W.] 

2 The superiority of this over the stone pyramids has been supposed to be in 
the invention or adoption of the arch, forming the roof of its chambers and pas- 
sages. But this would require Asychis to have lived at least before the 18th dy- 
nasty, arches being common in the reign of Amunoph I., the second king of that 
dynasty, and possibly long before his time. Here again Herodotus appears to have 
confounded an earlier and a 

later king. (On the early use 
of the arch see my At. Eg. pp. 
16, 18, 19, 69, 70.) Several 
brick pyramids still remain in 
Egypt ; there are several small 
ones at Thebes ; but the larg- 
est are two near the modern 
Dashoor, or Mensheeh, and two 
others at the entrance to the 
Fyoom, at Illahoon, and El 
Hawara. It seems these four 
were originally cased with 
stone, and some blocks remain 
projecting from the crude 
brick mass, to which the outer 

covering of masonry was once attached, similar to those in some of the old tombs 
near Rome. That at Hawara, which stands at the eud of the labyrinth, was built 
upon a nucleus of rock, like the great pyramid of Geezeh, which was found by 
Colonel Howard Vyse to rise to about the height of 40 ft. within it.— [G. W.] 

3 This may be Ei-h-esi, "city (abode) of Isis, or Iseum." It could not be the 
Hanes of Isaiah (xxx. 4). See note on Book iii. ch. 5. — [G. W.] 

Chap. 137. ANYSIS. 135 

Under him Egypt was invaded by a vast army of Ethiopians, 4 
led by Sabacos, 5 their king. The blind Anysis fled away to the 
marsh-country, and the Ethiopian was lord of the land for fifty 
years, during which his mode of rule was the following : — When 
an Egyptian was guilty of an offence, his plan was not to punish 
him with death : instead of so doing, he sentenced him, accord- 
ing to the nature of his crime, to raise the ground to a greater 
or a less extent in the neighbourhood of the city to which he be- 
longed. Thus the cities came to be elevated even more than 

4 This conquest by the Ethiopians points to the accession of the 25th dynasty, 
which coming immediately after Bocchoris, the sole king of the 24th, shows that 
the latter may have been deprived of the throne by Sabaco. He, and his successors, 
are given in Manetho's list : — 

24<A Dynasty of one Sdite. 

" Bocchoris" (the Wi6e). 

15th Dynasty of Ethiopian family. 

" Sabaco," Sabakon, Sabaco I. 

" Sebechon," Sevechus, Sabaco II. 

" Teraces," Tearchus, Tirhaka, (Tehrak). 

It has been doubted which of the Sabacos was the So, or Sava, of 2 Kings xvii. 
4; and which Sabaco, or Shebek, reigned first. Shebek I. appears, from Mr. 
Layard's discovery of his name at Koyunjik, to be So. A stela at Florence reckons 
"71 years from the 3rd of Necho to the 35th of Amasis, who died in 525, and the 
44th year of Amasis is found on the monuments, and we also find that Psammetichus 
reigned directly after Tirhaka ; so that it is possible that Necho, the father of Psam- 
metichus, was a contemporary of Sabaco, as Herodotus states (ch. 152). Of these 
dates, and the supposed era of Sennacherib, see Hist. Notice in App. cir. viii. § 33. 
While the two Sabacos possessed the country, Stephinathis, Nechepsos, and Necho I. 
may have assumed a nominal regal power ; though the twelve kings could only have 
been chiefs of nomes, or districts in the Delta. 

When the Egyptians mention kings who did nothing memorable, or the rule of 
a priest-king like Sethos, or twelve kings ruling the country ; and when the monu- 
ments show that nothing was done worthy of record, or that kings with the title of 
priest ruled in some part of the country, or that a priest dedicated a monument in- 
stead of a king, there appears evidence of foreign rule in Egypt. We see this at 
the time of the Shepherd invasion, before the accession of the 18th dynasty ; again, 
before and after the accession of the 22nd and 23rd, both foreign dynasties, and 
about the 24th, as well as before the 26th, in the time of the so-called twelve kings. 
These twelve kings or monarchs could not have governed the whole of Egypt, nor 
could they have made the labyrinth, as Herodotus states (ch. 148), which had evi- 
dently been erected long before. 

The discovery of the stelae in the Apis tombs by M. Mariette now shows that Psam- 
metichus I. was the immediate successor of Tirhaka. — [G. W.] 

5 Herodotus mentions only one Sabaco, but the monuments and Manetho notice 
two, the Sabakon and Sebichos (Sevechos) of Manetho, called Shebek in the hiero- 
glyphics. One of these is the same as So (Sava), the contemporary of Hosea, King 
of Israel, who is said (in 2 Kings xvii. 4) to have made a treaty with the King of 
Egypt, and to have refused the annual tribute to Shalmanezer, King of Assyria. 
Tirhakah, the Tarchos, or Tarachus, of Manetho, Tearchon of Strabo, and the Teh- 
rak of the hieroglyphics, is noticed in 2 Kings xix. 9, and Isaiah xxxvii. 9, as King 
of Ethiopia, who had come out to fight against the King of Assyria. It has been 
said that Sabacon has not been found on the Egyptian monuments ; if so, no other 
king mentioned by the Greeks is met with, since the orthography of all differs from 
the Greek form. A monument at Sakkara gives the name of the second Sabaco, 
Shebek, or Sevechon. — [G. W.] 


they were before. As early as trie time of Sesostris, they had 
been raised by those who dug the canals in his reign ; this 
second elevation of the soil under the Ethiopian king gave them 
a very lofty position. Among the many cities which thus at- 
tained to a great elevation, none (I think) was raised so much 
as the town called Buhastis, where there is a temple of the god- 
dess Bubastis, which well deserves to be described. Other 
temples may be grander, and may have cost more in the build- 
ing, but there is none so pleasant to the eye as this of Bubastis. 
The Bubastis of the Egyptians is the same as the Artemis 
(Diana) of the Greeks. 

138. The following is a description of this edifice : G — Ex- 
cepting the entrance, the whole forms an island. Two artificial 
channels from the Nile, one on either side of the temple, en- 
compass the building, leaving only a narrow passage by which 
it is approached. These channels are each a hundred feet wide, 
and are thickly shaded with trees. The gateway is sixty feet 
in height, and is ornamented with figures cut upon the stone, 
six cubits high and well worthy of notice. The temple stands 
in the middle of the city, and is visible on all sides as one walks 
round it ; for as the city has been raised up by embankment, 
while the temple has been left untouched in its original condi- 
tion, you look down upon it wheresoever you are. A low wall 

6 This account of the position of the temple of Bubastis is very accurate. The 
height of the mound, the site of the temple in a low space beneath the houses, from 
which you look down upon it, are the very peculiarities any one would remark on 
visiting the remains at Tel Basta. One street, which Herodotus mentions as lead- 
ing to the temple of Mercury, is quite apparent, and his length of 3 stadia falls short 
of its real length, which is 2250 feet. On the way is the square he speaks of, 900 
feet from the temple of Paaht (Bubastis), and apparently 200 ft. broad, though now 
much reduced in size by the fallen materials of the houses that surrounded it. 
Some fallen blocks mark the position of the temple of Mercury, but the remains of 
that of Pasht are rather more extensive, and show that it measured about 500 feet 
in length. We may readily credit the assertion of Herodotus respecting its beauty, 
since the whole was of the finest red granite, and was surrounded by a sacred en- 
closure about 600 feet square (agreeing with the stadium of Herodotus), beyond 
which was a larger circuit, measuring 940 feet by 1200, containing the minor one 
and the canal he mentions, and once planted, like the other, with a grove of trees. In 
this perhaps was the usual lake belonging to the temple. Among the sculptures are 
the names of a goddess, who may be either Bubastis or Buto (see notes on ch. 59), 
and of Remeses II., of Osorkon I., and of Amyrtaeua (?); and as the two first kings 
reigned long before the visit of Herodotus, Ave know that the temple was the one 
he saw. (See M. Eg. W. vol. i. p. 427-430.) The columns of the vestibule had 
capitals representing the buds of water-plants, but near the old branch of the 
river, the modern canal of Moez, is another column with a palm-tree capital, said to 
have been taken from this temple, which has the names of Remeses II. and Osorkon 
I.; and was when entire about 22 feet high. Amidst the houses on the X. W. side 
arc the thick walls of a fort, which protected the temple below; and to the E. of 
the town is a large open space, enclosed by a wall now converted into mounds. 
Osorkon is said to have been called Hercules by the Egyptians. — [G. W.] 

[ , ■"« '.. iTif-^ 

Chap. 138-140. STORY OF SABACdS. 187 

runs round the enclosure, having figures engraved upon it, and 
inside there is a grove of beautiful tall trees growing round the 
shrine, which contains the image of the goddess. The enclosure 
is a furlong in length, and the same in breadth. The entrance 
to it is by a road paved with stone for a distance of about three 
furlongs, which passes straight through the market-place with 
an easterly direction, and is four hundred feet in width. Trees 
of an extraordinary height grow on each side the road, which 
conducts from the temple of Bubastis to that of Mercury. 

139. The Ethiopian finally quitted Egypt, the priests said, 
by a hasty flight under the following circumstances. He saw 
in his sleep a vision : — a man stood by his side, and counselled 
him to gather together all the priests of Egypt and cut every 
one of them asunder. On this, according to the account which 
he himself gave, it came into his mind that the gods intended 
hereby to lead him to commit an act of sacrilege, which would 
be sure to draw down upon him some punishment either at the 
hands of gods or men. So he resolved not to do the deed sug- 
gested to him, but rather to retire from Egypt, as the time 
during which it was fated that he should hold the country had 
now (he thought) expired. For before he left Ethiopia he had 
been told by the oracles which are venerated there, that he was 
to reign fifty years over Egypt. The years were now fled, and 
the dream had come to trouble him ; he therefore of his own 
accord withdrew from the land. 

140. As soon as Sabacos was gone, the blind king left the 
marshes, and resumed the government. He had lived in the 
marsh-region the whole time, having formed for himself an 
island there by a mixture of earth and ashes. While he re- 
mained, the natives had orders to bring him food unbeknown to 
the Ethiopian, and latterly, at his request, each man had brought 
him, with the food, a certain quantity of ashes. Before Amyr- 
tseus, 7 no one was able to discover the site of this island, 8 which 
continued unknown to the kings of Egypt who preceded him on 
the throne for the space of seven hundred years and more. 9 
The name which it bears is Elbo. It is about ten furlongs 
across in each direction. 

7 See note on Book iii. eh. 11. 

8 This island appears to have stood at the S. E. corner of the lake of Buto, now 
Lake Boorlos.— [G. W.] 

9 The 700 years before Amyrtseus would bring the time of this king to about 
1155 b.c, which ought to point to the flight of some king; but it does not agree 
with the period of the Sheshonks of the 22nd dynasty, who are supposed to have 
been of an Assyrian family. The interval could not be calculated from Anysis, 
since from the beginning of the first Sabaco's reign to the defeat of Amyrtaeus was 
only a period of 515 years. — [G. W.] 

188 SETHOS. Book II. 

141. The next king, I was told, was a priest of Vulcan, 
called Sethos. 1 This monarch despised and neglected the war- 
rior class of the Egyptians, 2 as though he did not need their 
services. Among other indignities which he offered them, he 
took from them the lands which they had possessed under all 
the previous kings, consisting of twelve acres of choice land for 
each warrior. Afterwards, therefore, when Sanacharib, king of 
the Arabians 3 and Assyrians, marched his vast army into Egypt, 
the warriors one and all refused to come to his aid. On this 
the monarch, greatly distressed, entered into the inner sanctu- 
ary, and before the image of the god, bewailed the fate which 
impended over him. As he wept he fell asleep, and dreamt 
that the god came and stood at his side, bidding him be of good 
cheer, and go boldly forth and meet the Arabian host, which 
would do him no hurt, as he himself would send those who 
should help him. Sethos, then, relying on the dream, collected 
such of the Egyptians as were willing to follow him, who were 

1 No mention is made by Herodotus of Bocchoris (nor of his father Tnephach- 
thus, the Technatis of Plutarch) ; and the lists of Manetho, as well as Diodorus, 
omit the Asychis and Anysis of Herodotus. Sethos again, whom Hetodotus calls a 
contemporary of Sennacherib, is unnoticed in Manetho's lists ; and as Tirhaka was 
king of the whole country from Napata in Ethiopia to the frontier of Syria, no other 
Pharaoh could have ruled at that time in Egypt. We may therefore conclude that 
Herodotus has given to a priest of Pthah the title of king. The miraculous defeat 
of the Assyrian king mentioned both by the Egyptians and the Jews is remarkable. 
Some have attributed the destruction of his army to a plague ; but plague does not 
destroy upwards of 185,000 men in one night. The omission of all notice of Tirha- 
ka by the Egyptian informants of Herodotus may have been owing to jealousy 
of the Ethiopians. The Assyrians defeated by Tirhaka are represented at Medeenet 
Haboo in Thebes, and in his temple at Gebel Berkel, wearing cross-belts. — 
[G. W.] 

2 The same spirit of insubordination may have been growing up among the 
soldiers which afterwards broke out in the reign of Psammeticlms ; but it could not 
have had any effect while the Ethiopian kings of the 25th dynasty ruled the country 
(see note 5 on ch. 152). It is not impossible that it had already been the cause of 
the introduction of the Ethiopian rule ; and the desertion of the troops to Ethiopia 
in the reign of Psammetichus may have been connected with a similar but unsuc- 
cessful attempt. There could not have been any Egyptian king contemporary with 
the 25th dynasty, since the Sabacos (neither of whom gave the throne to the Egyp- 
tians) were succeeded by Tirhaka. — [G. W.] 

3 It is curious to find Sennacherib called the " king of the Arabians and Assyri- 
ans " — an order of words which seems even to regard him as rather an Arabian than 
an Assyrian king. In the same spirit his army is termed afterwards " the Arabian 
host." It is impossible altogether to defend the view which Herodotus here dis- 
closes, but we may understand how such a mistake was possible, it' we remember 
how Arabians were mixed up with other races in Lower Mesopotamia (seo 
Essay x. in vol. i. § 11), and what an extensive influence a great Assyrian king 
would exercise over the tribes of the desert, especially those bordering on Mesopo- 
tamia. The ethnic connexion of the two great Semitic races would render union 
between them comparatively easy ; and so we find Arabian kings at one time para- 
mount over Assyria (Beros. Fir. 11), while now apparently the case was reversed, 
and an Assyrian prince bore sway over some considerable number of the Arab 


none of them warriors, but traders, artisans, and market-people; 
and with these marched to Pelusium, which commands the en- 
trance into Egypt, and there pitched his camp. As the two 
armies lay here opposite one another, there came in the night a 
multitude of field-mice, which devoured all the quivers and 
bow-strings of the enemy, and ate the thongs by which they 
managed their shields. 4 Next morning they commenced their 
flight, and great multitudes fell, as they had no arms with 
which to defend themselves. There stands to this day in the 
temple of Vulcan, a stone statue of Sethos, with a mouse in 
his hand, 6 and an inscription to this effect — " Look on me, and 
learn to reverence the gods." 

142. Thus far I have spoken on the authority of the Egyp- 
tians and their priests. They declare that from their first king 
to this last-mentioned monarch, the priest of Vulcan, was a 
period of three hundred and forty-one generations; 6 such, at 
least, they say, was the number both of their kings and of their 
high priests, during this interval. Now three hundred genera- 
tions of men make ten thousand years, three generations filling 
up the century; and the remaining forty-one generations make 
thirteen hundred and forty years. Thus the whole number of 
years is eleven thousand, three hundred and forty; in which en- 
tire space, they said, no god had ever appeared in a human 
form; nothing of this kind had happened either under the 
former or under the later Egyptian kings. The sun, however, 
had within this period of time, on four several occasions, moved 
from his wonted course, 7 twice rising where he now sets, and 

4 For a representation of the " thongs " intended, see vol. i. p. 237. 

5 If any particular reverence was paid to mice at Memphis, it probably arose 
from some other mysterious reason. They were emblems of the generating and 
perhaps of the producing principle ; and some thought them to be endued with 
prophetic power (a merit attributed now in some degree to rats on certain occasions). 
(See B. iv. note on ch. 192.) The people of Troas are said to have revered mice 
"because they gnawed the bowstrings of their enemies" (Eust. II. i. 39), and Apollo, 
who was called Smintheus (from a/xiy^os, a "mouse"), was represented on coins of 
Alexandria Troas with a mouse in his hand (Muller, Anc. Art. s. 361. 5). There 
was also a statue of him by Scopas with a mouse under his foot, in his temple at 
Chryse (Strabo, xiii. p. 416), commemorative of their "gnawing the leathern parts 
of the enemy's arms," or because their "abounding near the temple made them 
sacred ; " but Apollo Smintheus was worshipped in Greece also and other places, 
which argues against the story of the bow-strings being Egyptian. — [G. W.] 

p From Menes to Sethos (or to Tirhaka his contemporary), which he reckons at 
11,340 years. The exactly similar number of kings and high-priests is of course 
impossible. The era of Menes is shown by the monuments not to require a very 
extravagant date. The 341 generations, according to his calculation, do not make 
11,340 bat 11,366| years. This priest Sethos appears to be mistaken for king 
Sethos (Sethi) of the 19th dynasty: of a very different age and character. — 
[G.W.] ' 

' This has been very ingeniously shown by Mr. Poole (Horae J^gyptiacee, p. 94) 


twice setting where he now rises. Egypt was in no degree af- 
fected by these changes ; the productions of the land, and of the 
river, remained the same; nor was there anything unusual either 
in the diseases or the deaths. 

143. When Hecataaus the historian 8 was at Thebes, and, 
discoursing of his genealogy, traced his descent to a god in the 
person of his sixteenth ancestor, the priests of Jupiter did to 
him exactly as they afterwards did to me, though I made no 
boast of my family. They led me into the inner sanctuary, 
which is a spacious chamber, and showed me a multitude 
of colossal statues, in wood, which they counted up, and found 
to amount to the exact number they had said; the custom being 
for every high priest during his lifetime to set up his statue in 
the temple. As they showed me the figures and reckoned them 
up, they assured me that each was the son of the one preceding 
him ; and this they repeated throughout the whole line, begin- 
ning with the representation of the priest last deceased, and 
continuing till they had completed the series. When Heca- 
tseus, in giving his genealogy, mentioned a god as his sixteenth 
ancestor, the priests opposed their genealogy to his, going 
through this list, and refusing to allow that any man was ever 
born of a god. Their colossal figures were each, they said, a 
Piromis, born of a Piromis, 9 and the number of them was three 

to refer to " the solar risings of stars having fallen on those days of the vague 
year on which the settings fell in the time of Sethos ; and " the historian by a natu- 
ral mistake supposed they spoke of the sun itself." This is confirmed by Pomponius 
Mela, who only differs in stating that the king to whose reign they calculated was 
Amasis. — [G. W.] 

8 This is the first distinct mention of Hecataeus, who has been glanced at more 
than once. (Vide supra, chaps. 21, 23.) He had flourished from about b.c. 520 to 
n.c. 475, and had done far more than any other writer to pave the way for Herodo- 
tus. His works were of two kinds, geographical and historical. Under the former 
head he wrote a description of the known world (r% TrepioSos), chiefly the result of 
his own travels (Agathemer. I. i. p. 172), which must have been of considerable ser- 
vice to our author. Under the latter he wrote his genealogies, which were for the 
most part mythical, but contained occasionally important history (vide infra, vi. 137). 
The political influence of Hccatams is noticed by Herodotus in two passages (v. 35, 
125). He is the only prose-writer whom Herodotus mentions by name. The term 
Ao7otto^j, which he applies to him both here and in Book v., I have translated 
"historian' 1 rather than " chronicler," because in Herodotus the word implies no 
disrespect, being the term by which he would probably have designated himself. 
"Prose-writer" is perhaps its most literal meaning, as it is antithetical to iironuihs, 
" a writer of poetry." 

9 The Egyptians justly ridiculed the Greeks for deriving their origin from gods, 
which were attributes of the Deity ; and nothing could appear more inconsistent 
than to claim for an ancestor Hercules, the abstract idea of strength. Piromis or 
Pi-rome was the usual Egyptian word for " man," with the definite article wi, " the," 
prefixed, and the simple and obvious meaning of the observation here recorded 
was, that each of the statues represented a "man" engendered by a "man" with- 
out there being any god or hero among them. The translation which Herodotus 
gives of the term, Ka\b<> ko.1 aya&os, is justified neither by the meaning of Firomi, 
nor by the sense required. — [G. W.] 

Chap. 143-145. REIGN OF THE GODS IN EGYPT. 191 

hundred and forty-five ; through the whole series Piromis fol- 
lowed Piromis, and the line did not run up either to a god or a 
hero. The word Piromis may be rendered " gentleman." 

144. Of such a nature were, they said, the beings represented 
by these images — they were very far indeed from being gods. 
However, in the times anterior to them it was otherwise ; then 
Egypt had gods for its rulers, 1 who dwelt upon the earth with 
men, one being always supreme above the rest. The last of 
these was Horus, the son of Osiris, called by the Greeks Apollo. 
He deposed Typhon, 2 and ruled over Egypt as its last god-king. 
Osiris is named Dionysus (Bacchus) by the Greeks. 

145. The Greeks regard Hercules, Bacchus, and Pan as the 
youngest of the gods. With the Egyptians, contrariwise, Pan 
is exceedingly ancient, 3 and belongs to those whom they call 
" the eight gods," who existed before the rest. Hercules is one 
of the gods of the second order, who are known as " the twelve ;" 
and Bacchus belongs to the gods of the third order, whom the 
twelve produced. I have already mentioned how many years in- 
tervened according to the Egyptians between the birth of Hercu- 
les and the reign of Amasis. 4 From Pan to this period they count 
a still longer time ; and even from Bacchus, who is the youngest 
of the three, they reckon fifteen thousand years to the reign of 
that king. In these matters they say they cannot be mistaken, 
as they have always kept count of the years, and noted them in 
their registers. But from the present day to the time of Bac- 
chus, the reputed son of Semele, daughter of Cadmus, is a 
period of not more than sixteen hundred years ; to that of Her- 
cules, son of Alcmena, is about nine hundred ; while to the time 
of Pan, son of Penelope (Pan, according to the Greeks, was her 
child by Mercury), is a shorter space than to the Trojan war, 5 
eight hundred years or thereabouts. 

1 This is in accordance with the account given by Manetho and with the Turin 
Papyrus, both which represent the gods as the first kings of Egypt before Menes. 
The last of them in the papyrus is also Horus the younger, the son of Osiris (see 
note 2 ch. 4, and note 5 ch. 99). This Horus was distinct from Aroeris (Hor-oeri), 
the elder Horus, the brother of Osiris, and also from Hor-pocrates, the infant-son 
of Osiris and Isis, said by Eratosthenes to be "the god of day." See note 9 on ch. 
92.— [G. W.] 

3 Typhon, or rather Seth, the brother of Osiris, was the abstract idea of " evil," 
as Osiris was of " good ; " and in after times many fables (as Plutarch shows) arose 
out of this opposite nature of the two deities. For both were adored until a change 
took place respecting Seth, brought about apparently by foreign influence. (See 
note 3 on ch. 171.) It is singular that names so like Typhon should occur in other 
languages. In Arabic Tyfoon (like rv<p^s) is a whirlwind, and Tufan is the " Deluge ; " 
and the same word occurs in Chinese as Ty-fong. On the different constructions 
put upon the fable of Osiris and Typhon, see notes 3 and 4 on ch. 171. — [G. W.] 

3 See note 10 on ch. 4, note 6 on ch. 42, and note ' on ch. 43. 4 Supra, ch. 43. 

5 The dates for the Trojan war vary almost two centuries. Duris placed it as 


146. It is open to all to receive whichever he may prefer of 
these two traditions ; my own opinion about them has been al- 
ready declared. If indeed these gods had been publicly known, 
and had grown old in Greece, as was the case with Hercules, 
son of Amphitryon, Bacchus, son of Semele, and Pan, son of 
Penelope, it might have been said that the last-mentioned per- 
sonages were men who bore the names of certain previously 
existing deities. But Bacchus, according to the Greek tradition, 
was no sooner born than he was sewn up in Jupiter's thigh, and 
carried off to Nysa, 6 above Egypt, in Ethiopia ; and as to Pan, 

early as B.C. 1335 (Clem. Alex. Stromat. i. p. 337, A.). Clemens in B.C. 1149. 
Isocrates, Ephorus, Democritus, and Phanias, seem to have inclined to the latter, 
Herodotus, Thucydides, the author of the Life of Homer, and the compiler of the 
Parian Marble, to the earlier period. The date now usually received, B.C. 1183, is 
that of Eratosthenes, whose chronology was purely artificial, and rested on no solid 
basis. The following is a list of the principal views on this subject: — 


Duris placed the fall of Troy in .... 1335 

Author of the Life of Homer ..... 1270 

Herodotus 1260+ 

Thucydides 1260+ 

Parian Marble ..... . 1209 

Eratosthenes ........ 1183 

Sosibius ........ 1171 

Ephorus ........ 1169 

Clemens ........ 1149 

6 The story of Bacchus being taken to Nysa in Ethiopia is explained by the 
identity of Osiris and that god. Nysa looks like n-isi (for §i-n-isi), Iseum ; 
but there were several cities, caves, and hills of this name, and some in Greece. 
Those of Arabia (Diodor. i. 15 ; iii. 63) and India (Arrian. Ind. c. v. ; Q. Curt. viii. 
10) were most noted. Diodorus (iii. 63) says Bacchus was nursed at Nysa, an island 
of the river Triton in Libya ; and the Theban Bacchus in the Nysaean cave between 
Phoenicia and Egypt (iv. 2). He also mentions Nysa in Arabia (iii. 63) and the 
city of Nysa in Arabia Felix, near Egypt, where Osiris was educated, and who from 
his father Jove and this place was called Dionysus (i. 15; see Her. iii. 97 ; Virg. 
JEn. vi. 805; Ovid. Met. iv. 13). Diodorus saying (i. 19) that Nysa in India was 
built by Osiris, in imitation of that of Egypt, seems to give an Egyptian origin to 
the name. Pomp. Mela (iii. 7), speaking of India, says "of the cities, which are 
numerous, Nysa is the largest and most celebrated ; " and mentions Mount Meros 
sacred to Jove. Philostratus (Vit. Apoll. Tyan. ii. 1) speaks of " the Indians calling 
Bacchus Nyseus, from a place in their country, called Nysa;" and (ii. 4) of a "hill 
near Nysa called Meros (thigh), where Bacchus was born," and of " the hill Nysa," 
Hesychius says "Nysa and the Nysaean Mount are not in one place alone, but in 
Arabia, Ethiopia, Egypt, Babylon, Erythea, Thrace, Thessaly, Cilicia, India, Libya, 
Lydia, Macedonia, Naxus, and about the Pangeum, a place in Syria; " to which may 
be added Euboea, Phaeacia (Schol. Apollon. Rhod. iv. 540, 983), and Phrygia, near 
the river Sangarius. (Kustath. in Dionys. Perieg. 940. See also Schol. Horn. II. vi. 133 ; 
ii. 508 ; Eurip. Bacch. 656 ; Soph. Antig. 1131 ; Strabo, xv. 687, 701 ; Dion. Periog. II. 
626, 940, 1159; Schol. Apoll. Rhod. ii. 904, 1211.) Pliny (vi. 21) says, "Nysam 
urbem plerique India; adscribunt, montemque Merum Libero patri sacrum, unde 
origo fabulee Jovis femine (m^w) editum." Plin. v. 18 says "Scythopolis was 
formerly Nysa ; " and Juvenal mentions Nysa on Mt. Parnassus (vii. 63). The 
Hindoos have also a sacred mountain called Meru. The custom of having " holy 
hills" was of very early date, and common to the Egyptians, Jews, Greeks, and 
many people. Gebel Berkel in Ethiopia is always called "the holy hill" on the 
monuments there (see n. 7 on ch. 29). Part of Mount Sinai was so considered by 
the early Pharaohs, and by the Jews, Christians, and Moslems to this day ; and 

Chap. 146-148. THE TWELVE KINGS. 193 

tliey do not even profess to know what happened to him after 
his birth. To me, therefore, it is quite manifest that the names 
of these gods became known to the Greeks after those of their 
other deities, and that they count their birth from the time when 
they first acquired a knowledge of them. Thus far my narrative 
rests on the accounts given by the Egyptians. 

147. In what follows I have the authority, not of the Egyp- 
tians only, but of others also who agree with them. I shall 
speak likewise in part from my own observation. When the 
Egyptians regained their liberty after the reign of the priest of 
Vulcan, unable to continue any while without a king, they 
divided Egypt into twelve districts, and set twelve kings 7 over 
them. These twelve kings, united together by intermarriages, 
ruled Egypt in peace, having entered into engagements with 
one another not to depose any of their number, nor to aim at 
any aggrandisement of one above the rest, but to dwell together 
in perfect amity. Now the reason why they made these stipula- 
tions, and guarded with care against their infraction, was, be- 
cause at the very first establishment of the twelve kingdoms, an 
oracle had declared — " That he among them who should pour 
in Vulcan's temple a libation from a cup of bronze, 8 would be- 
come monarch of the whole land of Egypt." Now the twelve 
held their meetings at all the temples. 

148. To bind themselves yet more closely together, it seemed 
good to them to have a common monument. In pursuance of 
this resolution they made the Labyrinth which lies a little above 
Lake Mceris, 9 in the neighbourhood of the place called the city 

pilgrimages to it will readily account for those inscriptions called Sinai'tic, which are 
evidently not Jewish, but of a sea-faring people of that coast, since they have left 
similar records in the same language at the watering-places on the Egyptian side 
of the Red Sea as far S. as lat. 29° and 27° 50', where the Israelites could never 
have been (see App. ch. v. § 30). — [G. W.] 

7 The sarcastic observation that as they could not exist without a king, they 
elected twelve, must have been amusing to the Greeks. They were probably only 
governors of the twelve principal nomes, not of all Egypt but of the Delta, to which 
Strabo gives ten and Ptolemy twenty-four, and which in later times contained 
thirty-five, including the Oasis of Amnion. (See note 4 on ch. 137, and n. 7 ch. 164, 
of the Nomes of Egypt.) Pliny speaks of sixteen nomes of all Egypt who met in 
the Labyrinth (xxxvi. 13) ; and Strabo (xvii. p. 558) states that the number of nomes 
corresponded to that of its chambers, when it was first built. — [G. W.] 

8 This should not have been remarkable if those cups were so commonly used 
in Egypt as Herodotus says. See note s on ch. 37. — [G. W.] 

9 The position of the natural lake is well known ; but M. Linant has discovered 
that of the artificial Moeris, near the site of Crocodilopolis, now Medeenet-el-Fyoom. 
It has long formed part of the cultivated plain of the Fyoom, and Pliny's using the 
word "fu&t" shows it was no longer used in his time. It was an extensive reser- 
voir secured by dams, and from its channels conveyed the water in different direc- 
tions to all parts of that inland province. A small reservoir at the modern town, a 
very humble imitation of the Lake Moeris, supplies in the same manner the various 

Vol. II.— 13 


of Crocodiles. 1 I visited this place, and found it to surpass de- 
scription ; for if all the walls and other great works of the Greeks 
could be put together in one, they would not equal, either for 
labour or expense, this Labyrinth ; 2 and yet the temple of 
Ephesus is a building worthy of note, 3 and so is the temple of 

streams that irrigate the Fyoom; and the ancient lake being a work of man accords 
with Pliny's " Moeridis lacus hoc est fossa grandis," as well as with the assertion of 
Herodotus. The other lake, now Birket-el-Korn, is formed by nature, and receives 
as in former times the superabundant water that ran off after the lands had been 
irrigated by the channels from the artificial Mceris. See M. Linant's Memoir on his 
interesting and important discovery. — [G. W.] 

1 Afterwards called Arsinoe, from the wife and sister of Ptolemy Philadelphus, 
like the port on the Red Sea (now Suez). The reason of the crocodile being sacred 
in this inland province was to ensure the maintenance of the canals, as De Pauw 
observes (vol. ii. pt. iii. s. 7. p. 122). — [G. W.] 

2 The admiration expressed by Herodotus for the Labyrinth is singular, when 
there were so many far more magnificent buildings at Thebes, of which he takes no 
notice. It was probably the beauty of the stone, the richness of its decoration, 
and the peculiarity of its plan that struck him so much. Remains of the white 
stones he mentions may still be traced even in the upper part; they are a hard 
silicious limestone, and the broken columns of red granite with bud capitals, are 
perhaps those alluded to by Pliny, who supposes them porphyry. Strabo gives the 
length of the Labyrinth as a stadium, which agrees very nearly with the actual 
measurement, and makes the pyramid at the end of it 4 plethra, or 400 feet, square, 
and the same in height, which Herodotus calculates at 50 orgyies, or 300 feet (see 
note 2 on ch. 130). The excavations made by the Prussian commission have ascer- 
tained the exact size and plan of the Labyrinth. The oldest name found there was 
of Amun-m-he III., who corresponds to Ameres, and whose immediate predecessor 
Lamaris (or Labaris) is said by Manetho to have made the Labyrinth. Perhaps ^u.e&' 
l ov Ad/jLapis was corrupted from ^ued' hv 61 Mdpis. These resemblances of names led 
to numerous mistakes of Greek writers (see note 6 on ch. 13, and note 9 on ch. 100). 
Gliddon thinks Labyrinth was so called from Labaris (Otia JEgyptiaca). Strabo's 
position of the Labyrinth is well described ; and his distance of 100 stadia from 
Arsinoe agrees very well with the 11 -J- Eng. m. from the centre of its mounds to the 
pyramid of Hawara. Diodorus calls the founder of the Labyrinth Mendes ; and 
Pliny (xxxvi. 13), who erroneously places it in the Heracleopolite norae, and attri- 
butes it to king Petesucus, or Tithoes, shows that it stood near the frontier of the 
Crocodilopolite nome (or Fyoom) ; and his expression " primus factus est " implies 
that it was added to by other kings. This was usual in Egyptian monuments ; 
and the names of more than one king at the Labyrinth prove it was the case there 
also. If the number of chambers was equal to that of the nomes of Egypt, it must 
have varied greatly at different times (see note 7 on ch. 164). — [G. YV.] 

3 The original temple of Diana at Ephesus seems to have been destroyed by the 
Cimmerians (see the Essays appended to Book i., Essay i. § 14) in their great 
incursion during the reign of Ardys. The temple which Herodotus saw was then 
begun to be built by Chersiphron of Cnossus and his son Metagenes, contemporaries 
of Theodorus and Rhcecus, the builders of the Samian Heraeum. (Cf. Vitruv. praef. 
ad lib. vii. ; Strab. xiv. p. 918; Plin, II. N. xxxvi. 14.) These architects did not 
live to complete their work, which was finished by Demetrius and Peonius 
of Ephesus, the rebuilder of the temple of Apollo at Branchida\ (Vitruv. 
1. s. c.) The architecture of the temple of Chersiphron was Ionic. (Vitruv. 
iii. 2.) It was, according to Pliny, 220 years in building. After its destruction by 
Eratostratus in the year of Alexander's birth (Plut. Alex. c. 1. Timseus, Fr. 187), the 
temple of Diana was rebuilt with greater magnificence, and probably on a larger 
scale, than before ; as the dimensions given by Pliny considerably exceed those 
which observation assigns to the Heraeum of Samos, while the Herseum was in the 
days of Herodotus " the largest of Greek temples " (infra, iii. 60). No traces 

Chap. 148, 149 THE LABYRINTH. I95 

Samos. 4 The pyramids likewise surpass description, and are 
severally equal to a number of the greatest works of the Greeks, 
but the Labyrinth surpasses the pyramids. It has twelve courts, 
all of them roofed, with gates exactly opposite to one another, 
six looking to the north, and six to the south. A single wall 
surrounds the entire building. There are two different sorts of 
chambers throughout — half under ground, half above ground, the 
latter built upon the former ; the whole number of these cham- 
bers is three thousand, fifteen hundred of each kind. The upper 
chambers I myself passed through and saw, and what I say con- 
cerning them is from my own observation ; of the underground 
chambers I can only speak from report : for the keepers of the 
building could not be got to show them, since they contained 
(as they said) the sepulchres of the kings who built the Laby- 
rinth, and also those of the sacred crocodiles. Thus it is from 
hearsay only that I can speak of the lower chambers. The 
upper chambers, however, I saw with my own eyes, and found 
them to excel all other human productions ; for the passages 
through the houses, and the varied windings of the paths across 
the courts, excited in me infinite admiration, as I passed from 
the courts into chambers, and from the chambers into colon- 
nades, and from the colonnades into fresh houses, and again from 
these into courts unseen before. The roof was throughout of 
stone, like the walls ; and the walls were covered all over with 
figures ; every court was surrounded with a colonnade, which 
was built of white stones exquisitely fitted together. At the 
corner of the Labyrinth stands a pyramid, forty fathoms high, 
with large figures engraved on it ; which is entered by a sub- 
terranean passage. 

149. Wonderful as is the Labyrinth, the work called the 
Lake of Moeris, 5 which is close by the Labyrinth, is yet more 
astonishing. The measure of its circumference is sixty schoenes, 
or three thousand six hundred furlongs, which is equal to the 
entire length of Egypt along the sea-coast. The lake stretches 
in its longest direction from north to south, and in its deepest 
parts is of the depth of fifty fathoms. It is manifestly an arti- 
ficial excavation, for nearly in the centre there stand two pyra- 
mids, 6 rising to the height of fifty fathoms above the surface of 

remain of this much-admired fabric (Chandler, vol. i. p. 153), unless the ruins 
noticed by Mr. Hamilton, near the western extremity of the town (Asia Minor, vol. 
ii. pp. 24-5), are admitted to mark its site. 

4 Vide infra, iii. 60, note. 

5 See note 9 to the preceding chapter. 

6 No traces remain of these pyramids. The ruins at Biahmoo show from their 



Book II. 

the water, and extending as far beneath, crowned each of them 
with a colossal statue sitting upon a throne. Thus these 
pyramids are one hundred fathoms high, which is exactly a 
furlong (stadium) of six hundred feet : the fathom being six 
feet in length, or four cubits, which is the same thing, since a 
cubit measures six, and a foot four, palms. 7 The water of the 
lake does not come out of the ground, which is here excessively 
dry, 8 but is introduced by a canal from the Nile. The current 
sets for six months into the lake from the river, and for the next 
six months into the river from the lake. While it runs outward 
it returns a talent of silver daily to the royal treasury from the 
fish that are taken, 9 but when the current is the other way the 
return sinks to one-third of that sum. 

forms, and from the angle of their walls, 67°, that they were not pyramids ; unless 
a triangular facing made up the pyramid (see ch. 125, n. 3 ). — [G-. W.] 

7 The measures of Herodotus are almost all drawn either from portions of the 
human body, or from bodily actions easily performable. His smallest measure is 
the daKTvkos, or "finger's breadth," four of which go to the iraXaio-ri) ("palm" or 
"hand's breadth"), while three palms make the a-m^afx-n (" span"), and four the 
ttovi (" foot "). The -rrrixvs (" cubit," or length from the tip of the fingers to the 
elbow) is a foot and a half, or two spans ; the opyvid (" fathom," or extent to which 
the arms can reach when extended) is four cubits, or six feet. The wKebpou (a 
word the derivation of which is uncertain) is 100 feet ; and the ardo'iov (or distance 
to which a man could run before he required to stop) is six plethra, or 600 feet. 
These are the only measures used by Herodotus, besides the schoene and parasang, 
by which he found distances determined in Egypt and Persia respectively. The 
following table will exhibit his scheme of measures : — 

1 SciktvXos. 

.1 TraKaiffrri 

1 (TmSaixi). 

1 7TOl)?. 











1 7T77XU* 






1 opyvid. 






1 ir\e&pov. 







6 | 1 ffrdbiov. 

8 This is the nature of the basin on which the alluvial soil has been deposited; 
but it resembles the whole valley of the Nile in being destitute of springs, which are 
only met with in two or three places. The wells are all formed by the filtration of 
water from the river. In the Birket-el-Korn are some springs, serving, with the 
annual supply from the Nile, to keep up the water of the lake, which in the deepest 
part has only 24 feet, and it is gradually becoming more shallow from the mud 
Drought into it by the canals. — [G. W.] 

9 A great quantity of fish is caught even at the present lay at the mouths of the 
canals, when they are closed, and the water is prevented from returning to the Nile. 
It affords a considerable revenue to the government. It is farmed by certain Til- 
lages on the banks, and some idea may be formed of its value by the village of 
Agaleth at Thebes paying annually for its small canal 15(H) piastres, equal till 
lately to 211. The custom of farming the fisheries was probably derived 
by the Arab government from the ancient Egyptians, but El Makrisi mentions it as 

Chap. 150, 151. REIGN OF THE TWELVE KINGS. \Cfi 

150. The natives told me that there was a subterranean 
passage from this lake 1 to the Libyan Syrtis, running westward 
into the interior by the hills above Memphis. As I could not 
anywhere see the earth which had been taken out when the ex- 
cavation was made, and I was curious to know what had become 
of it, I asked the Egyptians who live closest to the lake where 
the earth had been put. The answer that they gave me I 
readily accepted as true, since I had heard of the same thing 
being done in Nineveh of the Assyrians. There, once upon a 
time, certain thieves having formed a plan to get into their 
possession the vast treasures of Sardanapalus, the Ninevite 
king, 2 which were laid up in subterranean treasuries, proceeded 
to tunnel a passage from the house where they lived into the 
royal palace, calculating the distance and the direction. At 
nightfall they took the earth from the excavation and carried it 
to the river Tigris, which ran by Nineveh, continuing to get rid 
of it in this manner until they had accomplished their purpose. 
It was exactly in the same way that the Egyptians disposed of 
the mould from their excavation, except that they did it by day 
and not by night ; for as fast as the earth was dug, they carried 
it to the Nile, which they knew would disperse it far and wide. 
Such was the account which I received of the formation of this 

151. The twelve kings for some time dealt honourably by 
one another, but at length it happened that on a certain occa- 
sion, when they had met to worship in the temple of Vulcan, 
the high-priest on the last day of the festival, in bringing forth 
the golden goblets from which they were wont to pour the liba- 
tions, mistook the number, and brought eleven goblets only for 
the twelve princes. Psammetichus was standing last, and being 
left without a cup, he took his helmet, which was of bronze, 3 from 

of comparatively late introduction. (See. Silv. de Sacy's Relation de l'Egypte, par Abd- 
al-latif, p. 283, note.) Herodotus reckons the revenue from the fish of the Lake 
Moeris at a talent of silver (193/. 15s. English, or as some compute it, 225/., or 243/. 
15s.) daily ; and when the water flowed from the Nile into the lake at 20 minae (64/. 
12s., or 81/. Is. 8eZ.), amounting at the lowest calculation to more than 47,000/. a- 
Year. According to Diodorus (i. 52) this was part of the pin-money of the queens. 
See n. 2 ch. 98.— [G. W.] 

1 Herodotus here evidently alludes to the natural lake, now Birket-el-Korn, not 
to the artificial Moeris. The belief in underground communications is still very pre- 
valent in Egypt (as in other countries) to the present day ; and might very reason- 
ably arise from what we see in limestone formations. — [G. W.] 

2 It is uncertain which Assyrian king is here intended. The Greeks recognised 
two monarchs of the name — one a warrior, who seems to be Asshur-dan-pal, the 
father of the Black Obelisk king ; the other the voluptuary, who closed the long 
series of Assyrian sovereigns. 

3 If this were so, and the other kings wore the same kind of helmet, the Egyp- 


off his head, stretched it out to receive the liquor, and so made 
his libation. All the kings were accustomed to wear helmets, 
and all indeed wore them at this very time. Nor was there any 
crafty design in the action of Psammetichus. The eleven, how- 
ever, when they came to consider what had been done, and be- 
thought them of the oracle which had declared " that he who, of 
the twelve, should pour a libation from a cup of bronze, the same 
would be king of the whole land of Egypt," doubted at first if 
they should not put Psammetichus to death. Finding, however, 
upon examination, that he had acted in the matter without any 
guilty intent, they did not think it would be just to kill him ; 
but determined, instead, to strip him of the chief part of his 
power and to banish him to the marshes, forbidding him to leave 
them, or to hold any communication with the rest of Egypt. 

152. This was the second time that Psammetichus had been 
driven into banishment. On a former occasion he had fled from 
Sabacos the Ethiopian, 4 who had put his father Necos to death ; 
and had taken refuge in Syria, from whence, after the retirement 
of the Ethiop in consequence of his dream, he was brought back 
by the Egyptians of the Saitic canton. Now it was his ill-for- 
tune to be banished a second time by the eleven kings, on account 
of the libation which he had poured from his helmet ; on this occa- 
sion he tied to the marshes. Feeling that he was an injured man, 
and designing to avenge himself upon his persecutors, Psammeti- 
chus sent to the city of Buto, where there is an oracle of Latona, 
the most veracious of all the oracles of the Egyptians, and having 
inquired concerning means of vengeance, received for answer, 
that " Vengeance would come from the sea, when brazen men 
should appear." Great was his incredulity when this answer 
arrived, for never, he thought, would brazen men arrive to be 
his helpers. However, not long afterwards certain Carians and 
Ionians, who had left their country on a voyage of plunder, were 
carried by stress of weather to Egypt, where they disembarked, 
all equipped in their brazen armour, and were seen by the na- 
tives, one of whom carried the tidings to Psammetichus, and, as 
he had never before seen men clad in brass, he reported that 

tians would not hare been surprised at seeing men in similar armour coming from 
the sea (ch. 152). Bronze armour was of very early date in Egypt, and was there- 
fore no novelty in the reign of Psammetichus. It is represented in the tombs of 
the kings at Thebes, and bronze plates, forming part of a corslet of scale armour, 
have been found bearing the name of Sheshonk, and are in Dr. Abbott's collection. 
(See note on B. vii. ch. 89.) XolKkos is really "bronze," opdxa^Kos "brass." Ob- 
jects have been found of brass as well as of bronze in Egypt. — [G. W.] 

4 On the Sabacos, Tirhaka, and Psammetichus, see notes 4 and 5 onch. 137, and 
Hist. Notice in App. en. viii. § ol-3-i. — [G. W.] 

Chap. 152. 



brazen men had come from the sea and were plundering the 
plain. Psammetichus, perceiving at once that the oracle was 
accomplished, made friendly advances to the strangers, and en- 
gaged them , by splendid promises, to enter into his service. He 
then, with their aid and that of the Egyptians who espoused his 
cause, attacked the eleven and vanquished them. 5 

5 The improbability of a few Ionian and Carian pirates having enabled Psam- 
metichus to obtain possession of the throne is sufficiently obvious. The Egyptians 
may not have been willing to inform Herodotus how long their kings had employed 
Greek mercenary troops before the Persian invasion; and a body of troops would 
not have landed opportunely to fulfil an oracle. This was in fact the first time that 
the Egyptian Pharaohs had recourse to Greek mercenaries, and began to find their 
utility ; and though the ancient kings in the glorious times of Egypt's great power 
had foreign auxiliaries (see woodcut; and that in note, B. vii. ch. 61, where three of 
these people are enemies of Egypt), they were levies composing part of the army, 
like those of the various nations which contributed to the expeditions of Xerxes and 
other Persian monarchs. But the introduction of Greek paid troops into the Egyp- 
tian service excited the jealousy of the native army (who could not have been long 
in perceiving the superiority of those strangers) ; and the favour shown to them led 
to the defection of the Egyptian troops (see note 3 on ch. 30). The Egyptian army 
had lost its former military ardour ; and now that Syria was so often threatened by 
the powerful nations of Asia, it was natural that Psammetichus should seek to em- 
ploy foreigners, whose courage and fidelity he could trust. (See Hist. Notice, App. 
en. viii. § 34.) Herodotus states that these Greek troops were the first foreigners 
allowed to establish themselves in Egypt ; that is, after the Shepherds and Israelites 
left it (see note 5 ch. 112). Strabo (xvii. p. 1131) speaks of the employment of 
mercenary troops in Egypt as an old custom. That of Psammetichus differed from 
the earlier system of auxiliaries ; it was a sign of weakness, and was fatal to Egypt 
as to Carthage (see Macchiavelli, Princ. c. 13). Polyaenus says that Psammetichus 
took the Carians into his pay hoping that the plumes they wore on their helmets 
pointed to the oracle, which had warned Temanthes, then king of Egypt, against 
cocks. (Cp. Plut. Vit. Artax. of Carian crests). With them he therefore attacked 
Temanthes, and having killed him, gave those soldiers a quarter in Memphis, thence 
called Caromemphis. The mercenary troops or " hired men," in the time of "Necho," 
are mentioned in Jeremiah (xlvi. 21). — [G. W.] 

Foreign Auxiliaries in the time of Remeees III. 


153. When Psammetichus had thus become sole monarch of 
Egypt, he built the southern gateway of the temple of Vulcan 
in Memphis, and also a court for Apis, in which Apis 6 is kept 
whenever he makes his appearance in Egypt. This court is 
opposite the gateway of Psammetichus, and is surrounded with 
a colonnade and adorned with a multitude of figures. Instead 
of pillars, the colonnade rests upon colossal statues, twelve cubits 
in height. The Greek name for Apis is Epaphus. 

154. To the Ionians and Carians 7 who had lent him their 
assistance Psammetichus assigned as abodes two places opposite 
to each other, one on either side of the Nile, which received the 
name of " the Camps." 8 He also made good all the splendid 
promises by which he had gained their support ; and further, he 
entrusted to their care certain Egyptian children, whom they 
were to teach the language of the Greeks. These children, thus 
instructed, became the parents of the entire class of interpreters 9 
in Egypt. The Ionians and Carians occupied for many years 
the places assigned them by Psammetichus, which lay near the 
sea, a little below the city of Bubastis, on the Pelusiac mouth 
of the Nile. 1 King Amasis, long afterwards, removed the 
Greeks hence, and settled them at Memphis to guard him 
against the native Egyptians. From the date of the original 
settlement of these persons in Egypt, we Greeks, through our 
intercourse with them, have acquired an accurate knowledge of 

6 This court was surrounded by Osiride pillars, like that of Medeenet Haboo at 
Thebes. Attached to it were probably the two stables, " delubra," or "thalami," 
mentioned by Pliny (viii. 46); and Strabo (xvii. p. 555) says, "before the sekos or 
chamber where Apis is kept is a vestibule, in which is another chamber for the 
mother of the sacred bull, and into this vestibule Apis is sometimes introduced, 
particularly when shown to strangers ; at other times he is only seen through a 

window of the sekos The temple of Apis is close to that of Vulcan." Pliny 

pretends that the entry of Apis into the one or the other of the "delubra" was a 
good or a bad omen. On Apis, see above, ch. 38, note 9 , and compare B. iii. ch. 
28.— [G. W.] 

7 The Carians seem to have been fond of engaging themselves as mercenary 
soldiers from a very early date, and to have continued the practice so long as they 
were their own masters. According to some commentators, the expression in 
Homer (II. ix. 378), ip Kapbs aXari, is to be understood in this sense. (See the Schol. 
ad Platon. ed. Ruhnken, p. 322, and comp. the note of Heyne, vol. v. p. 605.) Ar- 
chilochus certainly spoke of them as notorious for mercenary service, as appears 
from the well-known line — 

Kal 57) 'iTLKOVpOS, &(TT€ Kap, KeK\r}(T<JlLiai. 

The Scholiast on Plato says that they were the first to engage in the occupation, 
and quotes Ephorus as an authority. 

8 See note 5 on ch. 112. 

9 See end of note 6 on ch. 164. 

1 The site chosen for the Greek camps shows that they were thought necessary 
as a defence against foreign invasion from the eastward. (See Diodor. i. 67.) The 
Roman Scence Vcteranorum were not very far from this. — [G. W.] 

Chap. 153, 154. 




the several events in Egyptian history, from the reign of Psam- 
metichus downwards ; but before his time no foreigners had ever 
taken up their residence in that land. The docks where their 
vessels were laid up, and the ruins of their habitations, were 
still to be seen in my day at the place where they dwelt origin- 
ally, before they were removed by Amasis. Such was the mode 
by which Psammetichus became master of Egypt. 

155. I have already made mention more than once of the 
Egyptian oracle, 2 and as it well deserves notice, I shall now pro- 
ceed to give an account of it more at length. It is a temple of 
Latona, 3 situated in the midst of a great city on the Sebennytic 
mouth of the Nile, at some distance up the river from the sea. 
The name of the city, as I have before observed, is Buto ; and 
in it are two other temples also, one of Apollo and one of Diana. 
Latona's temple, which contains the oracle, is a spacious building 
with a gateway ten fathoms in height. 4 The most wonderful 
thing that was actually to be seen about this temple 5 was a 
chapel in the enclosure made of a single stone, 6 the length and 

■ Supra, chs. 83, 133, and 152. There were several other oracles, but that of 
Buto, or Latona, was held in the highest repute. (See ch. 83.) 

3 Herodotus says that this goddess was one of the great Deities (ch. 156). She 
appears to be a character of Maut, and may, in one of her characters, be Thriphis, 
the goddess of Athribis, where the Mygale or shrew-mouse, which was sacred to 
Buto, was said by Strabo to have been worshipped. I have seen a small figure of 
a hedgehog with the name of Buto upon it. Buto, as Champollion supposed, was 
probably primaeval darkness. (See notes 2 and 4 on B. ii. ch. 59, and App. oh. iii. 
§ 2, Maut.) Lucian (De Dea Syria, s. 36) says there wore many oracles in Egypt, 
as in Greece, Asia, and Libya, the responses of which were given "by priests and 
prophets." The principal ones in Egypt were of Buto, Hercides (Gem), Apollo (Ho- 
rus), Minerva (Neith), Diana (Bubastis), Mars (Honurius, or more probably Mandoo, 
see note 4 on ch. 63), and Jupiter (Amun, at Thebes ; see chs. 64, 57, 83, 111, 133). 
That of Besa was also noted, which was said by Ammianus Mareellinus to have been 
at Abydus, or, according to others, near the more modern Antinoopolis ; but it is 
uncertain who that Deity was. Heliopolis had also its oracle (Macrob. Satur. i. 30); 
but the most celebrated was that of " Amnion " in the Oasis. The position of the 
city of Latona, near the Sebennytic mouth, was on the W. bank, between that 
branch of the Nile and the lake, about 20 miles from the sea. The isle of Chenimis 
was in that lake. Herodotus is supposed to have been indebted to Heeata-us for 
the mention of this island. (See Midler's Fragm. Hist. Graec. vol. i.) — [G. W.] 

4 This is the height of the pyramidal towers of the propyheum, or court of en- 
trance. The 10 orgyiae, or 60 feet, is the lull height of those towers, which seldom 
exceed 50. In front, on either side of the entrance, was usually a colossus of the 
king, before which stood two obelisks terminating an avenue, or dromos, of sphinxes. 
Clemens confounds the propyhvum with the pronaos. Pylon, pyknic, and propylon, 
are applied to the stone gateway, when standing alone before the temple; and the 
same kind of entrance is repeated between the two towers of the inner court or 
propylamm, immediately "before the door" of the actual temple, or at least of its 
portico. A stone pylon "is also placed as a side entrance to the crude brick enclosure 
of a temenos.— [G. W.] 

5 Herodotus says, "the most wonderful thing that was actual!)/ to be wen," be- 
cause he considers that the wonder of the floating island, which he "did not seo " 
(ch. 156), would, if true, have been still more astonishing. 

6 According to these measurements, supposing the walls to have been only 6 feet 

Chap. 155, 156. ISLAND OF CHEMMIS. 203 

height of which were the same, each wall being forty cubits 
square, and the whole a single block ! Another block of stone 
formed the roof, and projected at the eaves to the extent of four 

156. This, as I have said, was what astonished me the most, 
of all the things that were actually to be seen about the temple. 
The next greatest marvel was the island called Chemmis. This 
island lies in the middle of a broad and deep lake close by the 
temple, and the natives declare that it floats. For my own part 
I did not see it float, or even move ; and I wondered greatly, 
when they told me concerning it, whether there be really such a 
thing as a floating island. 7 It has a grand temple of Apollo 
built upon it, in which are three distinct altars. Palm-trees 
grow on it in great abundance, and many other trees, some of 
which bear fruit, while others are barren. The Egyptians tell 
the following story in connexion with this island, to explain the 
way in which it first came to float : — " In former times, when 
the isle was still fixed and motionless, Latona, one of the eight 
gods of the first order, who dwelt in the city of Buto, where now 
she has her oracle, received Apollo as a sacred charge from Isis, 

thick, and the material granite, as in other monoliths, this monument would weigh 
upwards of 6738 tons, being 76,032 cubic feet, without the cornice, which was placed 
on the roof. The reigns of the Psammetichi and other kings of this 26th dynasty, 
were the period of the renaissance or revival of art in Egypt ; both for the size and 
beauty of the monuments ; and though the sculptures are not so spirited as during 
the 18th and 19th dynasties, they have great elegance, sharpness of execution, and 
beauty of finish. It is singular that though the sculptures and paintings in the 
tombs near the pyramids are inferior to those of the best age, and though progress 
is perceptible in different times, there is no really rude or archaic style in Egypt ; 
there are no specimens of a primitive state, or early attempts in art, such as are 
found in other countries ; and the masonry of the oldest monuments that remain, 
the pyramids, vies with that of any subsequent age, particularly in their exquisitely 
wrought granite. The art of Egypt was of native growth, and was original and 
characteristic ; but the Egyptians, like all other people, borrowed occasionally from 
those with whom they had early intercourse ; and as the Assyrians adopted from 
them the winged globe, the lotus, and many other emblems or devices, the Egyp- 
tians seem also to have taken from Assyria certain ornaments unknown in Egypt 
before and during the 12th dynasty. Among these may be mentioned vases with 
the heads of a horse, a cock, a vulture, or an eagle (such as is given to the supposed 
Assyrian deity Nisroch), the knot, and the feather patterns, and perhaps some of 
the trappings of the horse, an animal apparently introduced from Asia. Even the 
Typhonian monster with feathers on his head, so common under the 2"2nd dynasty, 
seems to have some connexion with Asia, as well as with Libya. Those devices 
first occur on monuments of the 18th and 19th dynasties, whose kings came much 
in contact with the Assyrians ; and it was perhaps from them that the pointed arch 
of that time was copied, which, though not on the principle of the true arch, ap- 
pears to have been cut into the stone roof, in imitation of what the Egyptians had 
seen, as the round one was in imitation of the brick arches they had themselves so 
long used (see n. ' ch. 136).— [G. W.J 

7 Hecatoeus had related the marvels of this island, which he called Chembis, 
without any appearance of incredulity. (Fr. 284.) There is a tacit allusion to him 
in this passage. 


and saved him by hiding him in what is now called the floating 
island. Typhon meanwhile was searching everywhere in hopes 
of finding the child of Osiris." (According to the Egyptians, 
Apollo and Diana are the children of Bacchus and Isis ; 3 while 
Latona is their nurse and their preserver. They call Apollo, in 
their language, Horus ; Ceres they call Isis ; Diana, Bubastis. 
From this Egyptian tradition, and from no other, it must have 
been that iEschylus, the son of Euphorion, took the idea, which 
is found in none of the earlier poets, of making Diana the 
daughter of Ceres. 9 ) The island, therefore, in consequence of 
this event, was first made to float. Such at least is the account 
which the Egyptians give. 

157. Psammetichus ruled Egypt for fifty-four years, during 
twenty-nine of which he pressed the siege of Azotus 1 without 

8 Apollo was Horus, the son of Isis and Osiris (Ceres and Bacchus) ; but he had 
no sister in Egyptian mythology, and Diana was Bubastis or Pasht, who appears to 
be one of the great deities, and was the second member of the great triad of 
Memphis, composed of Phtha, Pasht, and Nofre-Atmoo. The Diana of the Greeks 
was daughter of Latona ; and Herodotus and Plutarch say that ^Eschylus was the 
only one who mentions her as Ceres, in imitation of the Egyptians. Aroeris and 
even Hor-Hat were also supposed by the Greeks to answer to Apollo, from their 
having a hawk's head like Horus. They therefore called the city of Hor-Hat 
Apollinopolis Magna (Edfoo), and that of Aroeris Apollinopolis Parva (Koos). — 
[G. W.] 

9 Pausanias reports this also (viii. xxxvii. § 3), but seems to be merely following 
Herodotus. It is not a happy conjecture of Bahr's (not. ad loc.) that it was for re- 
vealing this secret (?) that J^schylus was accused of violating the mysteries. The 
mention of xEschylus is important, as showing that Herodotus was acquainted with 
his writings. 

1 Azotus is Ashdod or Ashdoodeh of sacred scripture. This shows how much 
the Egyptian power had declined when Psammetichus was obliged to besiege a city 
near the confines of Egypt for so long a time as twenty-nine years, the armies of 
the Pharaohs in the glorious days of the 18th and 19th dynasties being in the con- 
stant habit of traversing the whole country from the Nile to the Euphrates. Dio- 
dorus says it was in the Syrian campaign that the Egyptian troops deserted from 
Psammetichus. The capture of Azotus facilitated the advance of his son Neco when 
he continued the war. The duration of the siege of Azotus was probably owing to 
its having received an Assyrian garrison, being an important advanced point to 
keep the Egyptians in check ; and the king of Nineveh was perhaps prevented by 
circumstances at that time from sending to succour it. For Tartan had been sent 
by "Sargon, king of Assyria," and had taken Ashdod (Isaiah xx. 1). He was the 
same who went from Sennacherib, the son and successor of Sargon, to Hezekiah (2 
Kings xviii. 17) four years afterwards, with Rabsaris and Rabshakch, b. c. 710, just 
before the defeat of Sennacherib. Tartan is thought not to be the name of an in- 
dividual, but the title "general" though the two others are names. The mention 
of Ethiopians and Egyptians taken prisoners by the Assyrians (Is. xx. 4) doubtless 
refers to the previous capture of Azotus, when it held a mixed garrison (Egypt hav- 
ing then an Ethiopian dynasty) which was compelled to surrender to the Assyrians. 
Ashdod was the strong city of the Philistines, where they took the ark "into the 
house of Dagon" (1 Sam. v. *2); and that it was always a fortified place is shown 
by the name signifying, like the Arabic, shedeed, " strong." In the wars between 
the Egyptians and Assyrians it was at one time in the possession of one, at another 
of the rival power. Psammetichus reigned according to Herodotus fifty-four years, 
and his fifty-fourth year occurs on the Apis Stela) (see Historical Notice of Egypt in 
Appendix, ch. viii. § 33). — [G. W.J 

Chap. 157, 158. ACCESSION OF NECOS. 205 

intermission, till finally he took the place. Azotus is a great 
town in Syria. Of all the cities that we know, none ever stood 
so long a siege. 

158. Psammetichus left a son called Necos, who succeeded 
him upon the throne. This prince was the first to attempt the 
construction of the canal to the Ked Sea, -2 — a work completed 
afterwards by Darius the Persian 3 — the length of which is four 
days' journey, and the width such as to admit of two triremes 
being rowed along it abreast. The water is derived from the 
Nile, which the canal leaves a little above the city of Bubastis, 4 

2 Herodotus says Neco (or Necos) began the canal, and Strabo attributes it to 
"Psammetichus his son;" but the ruins on its banks show that it already existed in 
the time of Remeses II., and that the statement of Aristotle, Strabo, and Pliny, who 
ascribe its commencement at least to Sesostris, is founded on fact. That from its 
sandy site it would require frequent re-excavating is very evident, and these suc- 
cessive operations may have given to the different kings by whom they were per- 
formed the credit of commencing the canal. It is certainly inconsistent to suppose 
that the Egyptians (who of all people had the greatest experience in making canals, 
and who even to the late time of Nero were the people consulted about cutting through 
the Isthmus of Corinth — Lucian) should have been obliged to wait for its completion 
till the accession of the Ptolemies. The authority of Herodotus suffices to prove that it 
was completed in his time to the Red Sea; and the monuments of Remeses at a town 
on its banks prove that it existed in his reign. Neco may have discontinued the re- 
opening of if; Darius may have completed it, as Herodotus states, both here and 
in Book iv. ch. 39; and it may have been re-opened and improved by the Ptolemies 
and again by the Arabs. In like manner, though the Alexandrian canal is attribut- 
ed entirely to Mohammed Ali, this does not prove that it was not the successor of 
an older canal, which left the Nile at another point. The trade of Egypt was very 
great with other countries, to which she exported corn at a remote period ; and 
we find from Athenaeus (ii. c. 3) that Bacchylides, who lived about the time of 
Pindar, speaks of corn going to Greece in ships from Egypt, when he says, " all 
men when drunk fancy they are kings, their houses are resplendent with gold and 
ivory, and corn-bearing ships bring over the bright sea the abundant wealth of 
Egypt." Wheat is represented as its staple commodity, at the coronation of the 
early Egyptian kings. The trade with Arabia by sea appears to have opened as 
early as the 12th dynasty, and afterwards extended to India. But even under the 
Ptolemies and Caesars, it was confined to the western coast and the islands ; and in 
Strabo's time " few merchants went from Egypt to the Ganges " (xv. p. 472). The 
first Egyptian port on the Red Sea was probably iEnnum, afterwards Philotera, 
from the youngest sister of Ptolemy Philadelphus (now old Kossayr), at the watering- 
place near which are the monuments of Amun-rh-he II. and Osirtasen II. — [G. W.] 

3 An inscription of Darius in the Persian Cuneiform character is engraved upon 
the Suez stone near the embouchure of the ancient canal. It reads: "Daryavush 
naqa wazarka," "Darius the Great King." (Behistun Memoir, vol. i. p. 313.) 

4 The commencement of the Red Sea canal was in different places at various 
periods. In the time of Herodotus it left the Pelusiac branch a little above 
Bubastis ; it was afterwards supplied with water by the Amnis Trajanus, which left 
the Nile at Babylon (near old Cairo), and the portion of it that remains now begins 
a short distance from Belbays, which is about 11 miles south of Bubastis. Strabo 
must be wrong in saying it was at Phacusa, which is too low down the stream. The 
difference of 13 feet between the levels of the Red Sea and Mediterranean is now 
proved to be an error. Pliny says that Ptolemy desisted from the work finding the 
Red Sea was 3 cubits (4£ feet) higher than the land of Egypt ; but, independent of 
our knowing that it was already finished in Herodotus' time, it is obvious that a 
people accustomed to sluices, and every contrivance necessary for water of various 
levels, would not be deterred by this, or a far greater, difference in the height of 


near Patumus, the Arabian town, 5 being continued thence until 
it joins the Red Sea. At first it is carried along the Arabian 
side of the Egyptian plain, as far as the chain of hills opposite 
Memphis, whereby the plain is bounded, and in which lie the 
great stone quarries ; here it skirts the base of the hills running 
in a direction from west to east ; after which it turns, and enters 
a narrow pass, trending southwards from this point, until it 
enters the Arabian Gulf. From the northern sea to that which 
is called the southern or Erythrgean, the shortest and quickest 
passage, which is from Mount Casius, the boundary between 
Egypt and Syria, to the Gulf of Arabia, is a distance of exactly 
one thousand furlongs. 6 But the way by the canal is very much 

the sea and the Nile, and Diodorus expressly states that sluices were constructed at 
its mouth. If so these were on account of the dhTerent levels, which varied mate- 
rially at high and low Nile, and at each tide, of 5 to 6 feet, in the Red Sea, and to 
prevent the sea-water from tainting that of the canal. The city of the Eels, Phag- 
roriopolis, was evidently founded on its banks to insure the maintenance of the 
canal. The place of the sluices appears to be traceable near Suez, where a channel 
in the rock has been cut to form the mouth of the canal. It is probable that the 
merchandise was transhipped from the boats in the canal to those in the harbour, 
on the other side of the quay, and that sluices were not opened except during the 
inundation, when the stream ran from the Nile to the Red Sea. In the time of the 
Romans it was still used, but afterwards fell into disuse, and was choked up until 
the caliph Omar re-opened it, in order to send supplies to Arabia, in record of which 
benefit he received the title of " Prince of the Faithful," Emeer el Momeneen, which 
was continued to or assumed by his successors. It was closed 134 years afterwards 
by El Munsoor Aboo Gafer, the 2nd Abbaside Caliph, to prevent supplies going to 
Medeeneh, then in the hands of one of the descendants of Ali ; since which time it 
has remained closed, though El Hakem is said to have once more rendered it navig- 
aV>lc for boats, a. d. 1000. After that it was filled up with sand, though sonic water 
passed during the high Nile as far as Shckh Hanaydik and the Bitter Lakes, until 
Mohammed Ali closed it entirely, and the canal now only goes to Tel e' Rigabeh, 
about 26 miles from Belbays. Its course Mas nearly due east for 35 miles from 
Belbays as far as Shekh Hanaydik, when it curved to the southward and ran by the 
Bitter Lakes to the sea. Its sea-mouth in early times was probably farther N. ; the 
land having risen about Suez. — [G. W.] 

5 Herodotus calls Patumus an Arabian town, as lying on the east side of the 
Nile. Patumos was not (as I formerly supposed) near the Red Sea, but at the com- 
mencement of the canal, and was the Pithom mentioned in Exod. i. 11. It was the 
Thoum (Thou) of the Itinerary of Antoninus, 54 m. p. from Babylon, whose site ap- 
pears to bo marked by the ruined town opposite Tel el Wadee, 6 miles east of the 
mouth of the canal. From Thoum to the Bitter Lakes may be about 38 miles, and 
from Thoum to the sea about 80. Pliny reckons 37 m. p. from the western entrance 
of the canal to the Bitter Lakes, giving it a breadth of 100 feet and a depth of 40 
(6. 33). Of its length, according to Herodotus, see following note. (See M. Eg. 
W. i. 310 to 316.) 

Pithom DPS is related to the word Thummim DT3r\ which is translated in the 
Septuagint "Truth," and is taken from the Egyptian Tlnnei, "Truth," or "Justice," 
whence the Greek &e7m and eri^os. The double capacity ot the Egyptian goddess 
Thmei is retained in Thummtm. — [G. W.] 

6 This Herodotus considers less than the length of the canal ; but his 1000 stadia 
(about 114 Eng. m. at 600 Greek feet to the stadium) are too much ; and lie appears 
to have included in it the whole distance by water from the Mediterranean to the 
Red Sea, both by the Nile and the canal. The length of the canal was about 80 


longer, on account of the crookedness of its course. A hundred 
and twenty thousand of the Egyptians, employed upon the work 
in the reign of Necos, lost their lives in making the excavation. 7 
He at length desisted from his undertaking, in consequence of 
an oracle which warned him " that he was labouring for the bar- 
barian/' 8 The Egyptians call by the name of barbarians all 
such as speak a language different from their own. 

159. Necos, when he gave up the construction of the canal, 
turned all his thoughts to war, and set to work to build a fleet 
of triremes, 9 some intended for service in the northern sea, and 
some for the navigation of the Erythraean. These last were 
built in the Arabian Gulf, where the dry docks in which they 
lay are still visible. These fleets he employed wherever he had 
occasion ; while he also made war by land upon the Syrians, and 
defeated them in a pitched battle at Magdolus, 1 after which he 

miles, or, if measured from the Bubastite branch to the Eed Sea, about 96. The 
shortest distance from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea overland is about 76 miles. 
The line from Mount Casius is not the shortest, being about 90 miles. — [G. W.] 

7 This calls to mind the loss of life when the Alexandrian canal was made by 
Mohammed Ali, but we may suppose the numbers greatly exaggerated. Mohammed 
Ali lost 10,000 men. The reason was that they were collected from distant parts of 
the country, and taken to the spot, and no food being provided for them, those whose 
families failed to send them provisions died of hunger, and some few from fatigue or 
accidents. — [G. W.] 

8 This was owing to the increasing power of the Asiatic nations. Berber was 
apparently an Egyptian name applied to some people of Africa, as now to the Nu- 
bians, who do not call themselves Berbers. It was afterwards extended to, and 
adopted by, other people. It was used by the Egyptians as early at least as the 18th 
dynasty. It is one of many instances of reduplication of the original word. Ber 
became Berber, as Mar Mannar, in Marmarica, a district of North Africa ; and the 
B and M being transmutable letters, Marmarica and Barbarica would apply equally 
well to the coast of Barbary. — [G. W.] 

9 Fleets had been equipped and built by Sesostris; and Herodotus speaks of the 
docks, or the stocks, where the ships of Neco were made. The Egyptians had one 
fleet on the Bed Sea, and another on the Mediterranean ; and their ships of war are 
represented on a temple of Remeses III. — [G. W.] 

1 The place here intended seems to be Megiddo, where Josiah lost his life, between 
Gilgal and Mount Carmel, on the road through Syria northwards, and not Migdol 
(Mc^oAds), which was in Egypt. The similarity of the two names easily led to the 
mistake (2 Chron. xxxv. 22). Neco had then gone u to fight against Carchemish by 
Euphrates," and Josiah attacked him on his march, in the " valley of Megiddo," " as 
he went up against the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates" (2 Kings xxiii. 29). 
Neco is there called " Pharaoh (Phrah)-Nechoh." 

The position of the Jews between the two great rival powers exposed them to 
the resentment of the one against whom they took part ; as was the case with Ho- 
shea, king of Israel, when he sided with " So, king of Egypt," and Shalmaneser, king 
of Assyria, " carried Israel away into captivity" (2 Kings xvii. 4, 6). — [G. W.] 

There were two cities known to the Jews by the name of Migdol (b'TCSa) ; one, 
mentioned in Exodus (xiv. 2) and Jeremiah (xlvi. 14), was not only on the borders 
of Egypt, but was actually in Egypt, as is apparent from both passages. This is 
undoubtedly the Magdolus of classical writers, which appeared in Hecataeus as " an 
Egyptian city" (iro\is Alyvnruv, Fr. 282), and which in the itinerary of Antonine (p. 
14) is placed 12 Roman miles to the west or north-ivest (not east, as Bahr says, vol. 


made himself master of Cadytis, 2 a large city of Syria. The 
dress which he wore on these occasions he sent to Branchidae in 
Milesia, as an offering to Apollo. 3 After having reigned in all 
sixteen years, 4 Necos died, and at his death bequeathed the 
throne to his son Psammis. 

160. In the reign of Psammis, 5 ambassadors from Elis 6 ar- 

i. p. 921) of Pelusium. The other, called for distinction's sake Migdol-el ('^"'l-^), 
was in the lot of Naphtali (Josh. xix. 38) and is fairly identified with the "Magdala" 
of St. Matthew (xv. 39) — the birthplace of Mary Magdalene. This place, which re- 
tains its name almost unchanged (Stanley's Palestine, p. 375), was on the borders of 
the Sea of Galilee, at the south-eastern corner of the plain of Gennesareth. Herod- 
otus probably meant this last place by his Magdolus, rather than the Magdolus of 
Egypt. But he may well have made a confusion between it and Megiddo (1^1573), just 
as "some MSS. in Matth. xv. 39 turn Magdala into Magedon" (Stanley, 1. s. c). 

2 After the defeat and death of Josiah, Neco proceeded to Carchemish, and on 
his return, finding that the Jews had put Jehoahaz, his son, on the throne, " he made 
him a prisoner at Riblah, in the land of Hamath, and after having imposed a tribute 
of 100 talents of silver and a talent of gold upon Jerusalem, he made his brother 
Eliakim (whose name he changed to Jehoiakim) king in his stead, carrying Jehoahaz 
captive to Egypt, where he died " (2 Kings xxiii. 29). Cadytis has generally been 
considered the Greek form of the name of Jerusalem, Kadesh, or Kadusha, " the 
holy" (given it after the building of the Temple by Solomon, and retained in its 
Arabic name El Kods), which was applied to other places, as Kadesh-Barnea, &c. ; 
but as Herodotus says (iii. 5) Cadytis appeared to him to be not much smaller than 
Sardis, as he probably never went to Jerusalem, and as he mentions the seaport 
towns from Cadytis to Jenysus, it is thought not to be the Jewish capital, but rather 
to lie on the coast. Toussaint thinks it was Gaza. Herodotus calling it a city of 
the " Syrians of Palestine" (iii. 5) led to the conclusion that it was Jerusalem, as he 
seems to apply that name to the Jews (ii. 104) : but Cadytis is supposed to be the 
Khazita taken by Shalmaneser, which was certainly Gaza, or Ghuzzeh. He could 
scarcely have meant by Cadytis in ii. 159, Jerusalem ; and in iii. 5, Gaza ; yet his 
taking Gaza, after the defeat of Josiah and his march to Carchemish, would be in- 
consistent; not so Jerusalem. — [G. W.] 

3 Neco's dedication of his corslet to Apollo was doubtless a compliment to the 
Greek troops in his pay, who had now become so necessary to the Egvptian kings. — 
[G. W.] 

For an account of the temple of Apollo at Branchidae, see note 7 onB. i. ch. 157. 

4 The reverses which soon afterwards befell the Egyptians were not mentioned 
to Herodotus. Neco was defeated at Carchemish by Nebuchadnezzar, in the 4th 
year of Jehoiakim (Jer. xlvi. 2), and lost all the territory which it had been so long 
the object of the Fharoahs to possess. For " the king of Babylon took, from the 
river of Egypt unto the river Euphrates, all that pertained to the king of Egypt" 
(2 Kings xxiv. 7). This river of Egypt was the small torrent-bed that formed the 
boundary of the country on the N.E. side by the modern El Areesh. Jerusalem 
was afterwards taken by Nebuchadnezzar, and the people were led into captivity to 
Babylon (Jer. Iii. 28, 29, 30 ; 2 Kings xxiv. and xxv.), when some Jews fled to 
Egypt (2 Kings xxv. 26), and settled at Tahpanhes, or Daphne, near Pelusium (Jer 
xliii. 9), a strongly fortified post (Her. s. 11), where the king of Egypt had a palace , 
and also at Migdol, at Noph, and in the land of Pathros (Jer. xliv. 1). This was in 
the reign of Hophra or Apries. See Hist. Notice in App. to Book ii. — [G. W.] 

6 Psammis is called Psammetichus (Psamatik) in the sculptures, and was succeed- 
ed by a third king of that name, whose wife was called Nitocris (Neitacri), and 
whose daughter married Amasis. (See note 2 on ch. 100.) Psammis appears to be 
Psammetichus II. of the monuments. — [G. W.] 

This shows the great repute of the Egyptians for learning, even at this time, 
when they had greatly declined as a nation. — [G. W.] 

Chap. 160, 161 ELEAN EMBASSY. 209 

rived in Egypt, boasting that their arrangements for the conduct 
of the Olympic games were the best and fairest that could be 
devised, and fancying that not even the Egyptians, who sur- 
passed all other nations in wisdom, could add anything to their 
perfection. When these persons reached Egypt, and explained 
the reason of their visit, the king summoned an assembly of all 
the wisest of the Egyptians. They met, and the Eleans having 
given them a full account of all their rules and regulations with 
respect to the contests, said that they had come to Egypt for 
the express purpose of learning whether the Egyptians could 
improve the fairness of their regulations in any particular. The 
Egyptians considered awhile, and then made inquiry, " If they 
allowed their own citizens to enter the lists ?" The Eleans 
answered, " That the lists were open to all Greeks, whether 
they belonged to Elis or to any other state." Hereupon the 
Egyptians observed, " That if this were so, they departed from 
justice very widely, since it was impossible but that they would 
favour their own countrymen, and deal unfairly by foreigners. 
If therefore they really wished to manage the games with fair- 
ness, and if this was the object of their coming to Egypt, they 
advised them to confine the contests to strangers, and allow no 
native of Elis to be a candidate/' Such was the advice which 
the Egyptians gave to the Eleans. 

161. Psammis reigned only six years. He attacked Ethi- 
opia, 7 and died almost directly afterwards. Apries, his son, 8 

Diodorus transfers the story to the reign of Amasis, and says the answer was 
given by that king himself (i. 95). Plutarch (Quasst. Plat. vol. ii. p. 1000, A) assigns 
it to one of the wise men. The real impartiality of the Eleans was generally admit- 
ted (cf. Plut. Apophtheg. Keg. p. 190, C. Dio Chrysost. Rhod. p. 344, C), and is 
evidenced by the fact that in the only complete list of Olympian victors which we 
possess, that of the winners of the foot-race or stadium, Eleans occur but eight times 
between the original institution of the games b.c. 776, and the reign of Caracalla, 
a.d. 217, a period of 993 years, or 249 Olympiads. Of these eight victors three 
occur within the first five Olympiads, when the contest was probably confined to 
Elis and its immediate neighbourhood. (See Euseb. Chron. Can. Pars i. c. xxxiii.) 

7 The names of Psammetichus I. and II. frequently occur at Asouan, as well as 
that of Amasis.— [G. W.] 

B Apries is the Pharaoh-Hophra of Jeremiah (xliv. 30), whose dethronement 
seems to be thus foretold : "I will give Pharaoh-Hophra, king of Egypt, into the 
hands of his enemies, and of them that seek his life. " His reign was at first very 
prosperous, more so than of any other king of this dynasty, except his great-grand- 
father, Psammetichus I. He sent an expedition against Cyprus and Sidon, and 
engaged the king of Tyre by sea, and having taken Gaza (Jer. xlvii. 1) he besieged 
Sidon, and reduced the whole of the coast of Phoenicia (Diod. i. 68), and advancing 
to Jerusalem, forced the Chaldeesto raise the siege (Jer. xxxvii. 5-11), thus recover- 
ing much of the territory wrested from his grandfather, Neco. But fortune then 
deserted him, and Nebuchadnezzar returned to the siege of Jerusalem and took it in 
the 11th year of Zedekiah (Jer. xxxix. 1, 2). According to the account given by the 
Egyptians to Herodotus, it was an unsuccessful expedition he sent to Cyrene which 
Vol. II.— 14 

210 REIGN OF APRIES. Book Ii. 

succeeded him upon the throne, who, excepting Psammetichus, 
his great-grandfather, was the most prosperous of all the kings 
that ever ruled over Egypt. The length of his reign was 
twenty-five years, and in the course of it he marched an army 
to attack Sidon, and fought a battle with the king of Tyre by 
sea. When at length the time came that was fated to bring 
him woe, an occasion arose which I shall describe more fully 
in my Libyan history, 9 only touching it very briefly here. An 
army despatched by Apries to attack Cyrene having met with 
a terrible reverse, the Egyptians laid the blame on him, imagin- 
ing that he had, of malice prepense, sent the troops into the 
jaws of destruction. They believed he had wished a vast num- 
ber of them to be slain, in order that he himself might reign 
with more security over the rest of the Egyptians. Indignant 
therefore at this usage, the soldiers who returned and the friends 
of the slain broke instantly into revolt. 

162. Apries, on learning these circumstances, sent Amasis 
to the rebels, to appease the tumult by persuasion. Upon his 
arrival, as he was seeking to restrain the malcontents by his ex- 
hortations, one of them, coming behind him, put a helmet on 
his head, saying, as he put it on, that he thereby crowned him 
king. Amasis was not altogether displeased at the action, as 
his conduct soon made manifest : for no sooner had the insur- 
gents agreed to make him actually their king, than he prepared 
to march with them against Apries. That monarch, on tidings 
of these events reaching him, sent Patarbemis, one of his court- 
iers, a man of high rank, to Amasis, with orders to bring him 
alive into his presence. Patarbemis, on arriving at the place 
where Amasis was, called on him to come back with him to the 
king, whereupon Amasis broke a coarse jest, and said, " Pry thee 
take that back to thy master." When the envoy, notwith- 
standing this reply, persisted in his request, exhorting Amasis 
to obey the summons of the king, he made answer, " that this 
was exactly what he had long been intending to do; Apries 

caused his downfall — Amasis, who was sent to recall the Egyptian troops to their 
duty, having taken advantage of that movement to usurp the throne, which he 
ascended after Apries had reigned, as Manetho says, 19, or, according to Herodotus, 
25 years. The name of Hophra, or Apries (Haiphra-het), occurs on a few monu- 
ments; but another king, Psammetichus III., intervenes between Psammetichus II. 
(Psammis) and Amasis, whose daughter was married to Amasis. The reign of Psam- 
metichus III. may have been included in that of Apries. Amasis died in 525 B.C., 
and as Herodotus assigns him 44 years, which date is found on the monuments, his 
reign began at least as early as 569 B.C., and probably much earlier; but these 
events, and the dates, are very uncertain. See Hist. Notice in App., and note ', oh. 
169, and note 5 , ch. 177.— [G.*W.] 
9 Infra, iv. 159. 


would have no reason to complain of him on the score of delay ; 
he would shortly come himself to the king, and bring others 
with hhn." l Patarbernis, upon this, comprehending the in- 
tention of Amasis, partly from his replies, and partly from the 
preparations which he saw in progress, departed hastily, wishing 
to inform the king with all speed of what was going on. Apries, 
however, when he saw him approaching without Amasis, fell 
into a paroxysm of rage ; and not giving himself time for re- 
flection, commanded the nose and ears of Patarbernis to be cut 
off. Then the rest of the Egyptians, who had hitherto espoused 
the cause of, when they saw a man of such note among 
them so shamefully outraged, without a moment's hesitation 
went over to the rebels, and put themselves at the disposal of 

1C3. Apries, informed of this new calamity, armed his mer- 
cenaries, and led them against the Egyptians : this was a body 
of Carians and Ionians, 2 numbering thirty thousand men, which 
was now with him at Sais, 3 where his palace stood — a vast 
building, well worthy of notice. The army of Apries marched 
out to attack the host of the Egyptians, while that of Amasis 
went forth to fight the strangers ; and now both armies drew 
near the city of Momemphis/ and prepared for the coming 

164. The Egyptians are divided into seven distinct classes 5 

1 Compare the answer of Cyrus to Astyages (i. 12*7), which shows that this was 
a commonplace — the answer supposed to be proper for a powerful rebel. 

2 The Greek troops continued in the pay of the king. The state of Egypt, and 
the dethronement of Apries, are predicted in Isa. xix. 2, and in Jer. xliv. 30. (See 
Hist. Notice, in App. ch. viii. § 37.) As Amasis put himself at the head of the 
Egyptian army, and Apries had the Greeks with him, it is evident that the former 
was alone employed against Cyrene, either out of fear of sending Greeks there, or 
from their unwillingness to fight against a Greek colony. Amasis afterwards (infra, 
ch. 181) wisely courted the friendship of the Greeks of Cyrene. — [G. W\] 

3 Manetho agreed with Herodotus in representing this dynasty (his 26th) as Saite. 
(Fr. 66 and 67.) That the family of Psammetichus belonged to Sais had been 
already indicated, by what is related of the Saites bringing Psammetichus back from 
Syria (supra, ch. 152). 

4 Momemphis was on the edge of the desert, near the mouth of the Lycus 
canal, some way below the modern village of Algam. — [G. W.] 

5 These classes, rather than castes, were, according to Herodotus — 1. The sacer- 
dotal. 2. The military. 3. The herdmen. 4. Swineherds. 5. Shopkeepers. 6. 
Interpreters. 7. Boatmen. Diodorus (i. 28} says that, like the Athenians, who 
derived this institution from Egypt, they were distributed into three classes : 1. The 
priests. 2. The peasants, from whom the soldiers were levied. 3. The artificers. 
But in another place (i. 74) he extends the number to five, and reckons the pastors, 
husbandmen and artificers, independent of the soldiers and priests. Strabo (xvii. p. 
541) limits them to three — the soldiers, husbandmen, and priests; and Plato 
(Timseus) divides them into six bodies — the priests, artificers, shepherds, huntsmen, 
husbandmen, and soldiers. The sailors employed in ships of war appear to have 


— these are, the priests, the warriors, the cowherds, the swine- 
herds, the tradesmen, the interpreters, and the boatmen. Their 
titles indicate their occupations. The warriors consist of Her- 
motybians and Calasirians, 6 who come from different cantons, 7 
the whole of Egypt being parcelled out into districts bearing 
this name. 

165. The following cantons furnish the Hermotybians — the 

been of the military class, as Herodotus (Book ix. cb. 32) shows tbem to have been 
of the Calasiries and Hermotybies. 

From these different statements we may conclude that the Egyptians were divi- 
ded into five general classes, which were subdivided again, as is the case in India 
even with the castes. The 1st was the sacerdotal order ; the 2nd the soldiers and 
sailors ; the 3rd peasants, or the agricultural class ; the 4th the tradesmen ; and the 
5th the plebs, or common people. The 1st consisted of priests of various grades, 
from the pontiffs to the inferior functionaries employed in the temples ; the 2nd of 
soldiers and sailors of the navy ; the 3rd was subdivided into farmers, gardeners, 
huntsmen, Nile-boatmen, and others ; the 4th was composed of artificers, and 
various tradesmen, notaries, musicians (not sacred), builders, sculptors, and potters ; 
and the 5th of pastors, fowlers, fishermen, labourers, and poor people. Some of 
these again were subdivided, as pastors into oxherds, shepherds, goatherds, and 
swineherds ; which last, according to Herodotus, were the lowest grade, even of the 
whole community, since no one would establish any family tie with them, and they 
could not enter a temple without a previous purification ; which resembles the 
treatment of swineherds in India at this day. 

Though Diodorus places the soldiers with the husbandmen, it is more probable 
that they constituted a class by themselves ; not that their following agricultural 
pursuits degraded them ; for even a Hindoo soldier in like manner may cultivate 
land without fear of reproach. According to Megasthenes the Indians were divided 
into seven castes; they have now four. (See Strabo, xv. p. 1118.) Herodotus says 
each person followed the profession or occupation of his father, as with the Lacedae- 
monians (Book vi. ch. 60) ; but it seems that, though frequently of the same class 
and occupation as his father, this was not compulsory. Each person belonged to 
one of the classes, and it is not probable that he would follow an inferior occupation, 
or enter a lower class than his father, unless circumstances rendered it necessary : 
for the sculptures show that sons sometimes did so, and priests, soldiers, and others 
holding civil offices are found among the members of the same family. The 
Egyptians had not, therefore, real castes, but classes, as has already been shown by 
Mr. Birch and M. Ampere. Proofs of this, from the families of men in trade, and 
others, are not so readily established, as few monuments remain, except of priests 
and military men — the aristocracy of Egypt, 

Quarters of a town were appropriated to certain trades (as now at Cairo) ; hence 
"the leather-cutters of the Memnonia," at Thebes, in the papyrus of Anastasy. 
(Dr. Young's Discov. in Eg. Lit., p. 66.) The interpreters, Herodotus says (ch. 154), 
were the descendants of those Egyptians who had been taught Greek by the Ionians 
in the service of Psammetichus, which would certainly apply rather to a class than 
to a caste, and his statement (whether true or not) respecting the low origin of 
Amasis shows he had not in view castes, but classes. — [G. W.] 

6 This name (as Mr. Birch has shown) is Klashr, followed by the figure of an 
archer, or the representation of an Egyptian soldier ; bowmen being the chief corps 
of the army. The Calasiries were probably all, or mostly archers. See note on 
Book ix. ch. 32.— [G. W.] 

7 The number of the nomes or cantons varied at different times. Herodotus 
mentions only 18 ; but in the time of Sesostris there were 36, and the same under 
the Ptolemies and Cresars; 10, according to Strabo, being assigned to the Thebaid, 
10 to the Delta, and 16 to the intermediate province. This triple division varied 
at another time, and consisted of Upper and Lower Egypt, with an intervening prov- 
ince containing 7 nomes, and hence called Heptanomis. In after times an eighth, 


cantons of Busiris, Sais, Chemmis, Papremis, that of the island 
called Prosopitis, 8 and half of Natho. 9 They number, when 
most numerous, a hundred and sixty thousand. None of them 
ever practises a trade, but all are given wholly to war. 

166. The cantons of the Calasirians are different — they 
include the following : — the cantons of Thebes, 1 Bubastis, 2 
Aphthis, 3 Tanis, 4 Mendes, Sebennytus, Athribis, Pharbsethus, 

the Arsino'ite, was added to Heptanomis; and the divisions were, 1. Upper Egypt, 
to the Thebaica-phylake ((pv\aKr)) now JDaroot e 1 Shereef. 2. Heptanomis, to the 
fork of the Delta. And 3. Lower Egypt, containing the northern part to the sea. 
Pliny gives 44 nomes to all Egypt, some under other than the usual names. 
Ptolemy mentions 24 in the Delta, or Lower Egypt, which under the later Roman 
emperors was divided into four districts — Augustamnica prima and secunda, 
JEgyptus l a and 2 da , still containing the same nomes ; and in the time of Arcadius, 
the son of Theodosius the Great, Heptanomis received the name of Arcadia. The 
Theba'id was made into two parts, Upper and Lower, the line of separation being 
Panopolis and Ptolemal's-Hermii ; and the nomes were then increased to 58, of 
which the Delta contained 35, including the Oasis of Ammon. These nomes were 
as follows : — [See next page.] 

Each Nome was governed by a Nomarch, to whom was entrusted the levying of 
taxes, and various duties connected with the administration of the province. See 
Mr. Harris's Standards of the Nomes and Toparchies of Egypt. His discovery can- 
not be too highly appreciated. He has also those of Ethiopia, which we may hope 
wiU be published.— [G. W.] 

8 Of Busiris, see note 6 on ch. 61, and preceding note. The Busirite nome was 
next to the Sebennytic, and to the south of it. Of Sai's, see note 9 on ch. 62, and 
note 9 on ch. 170. Of Chemmis, see note 4 on ch. 91 ; it was in Upper Egypt. Of 
Papremis, see note 4 on ch. 63. Of Prosopitis, see note x on ch. 41. — [G. W.] 

9 This was the tract between the Sebennytic, or Busiritic branch, and the Ther- 
muthiac, which ran to the east of Xols. — [G. W.] 

1 It is singular that only two nomes of Upper Egypt are here mentioned, Thebes 
and Chemmis. But as Herodotus has mentioned so few of the nomes, it is more 
probable that he has overlooked some, than that no soldiers belonged to any in 
Upper Egypt but the Theban and Chemmite. The largest force was necessarily 
quartered in these northern nomes, being wanted for defence against the enemy 
from the eastward : but it does not follow that they were nearly all raised there. 
Besides the nome of Thebes on the east, was the Pathyritic on the opposite bank, 
which contained "the Libyan suburb " of Thebes, or the " Memnoneia." (See Dr. 
Young, Disc. Eg. Lit., p. 66.) It was called Pa-Athor, " belonging to Athor " 
(Venus), who presided over the West. The Theban and Chemmite may have been 
the two that furnished the troops of the Ethiopian frontier, and of the garrisons in 
Upper Egypt. According to Herodotus the whole force was 410,000 men. Dio- 
dorus (i. 54) makes it amount, in the time of Sesostris, to 600,000 foot, 24,000 horse, 
and 27 chariots ; but he probably included in these the auxiliaries. — [G. W.] 

2 See notes on chs. 59, 60, 138. 

3 The position of this nome is uncertain. — [G. W.] 

4 The city of Tanis is the Zoan of sacred Scripture, and the modern San or Zan, 
— the Garni (or Djami) or Athennes, of the Copts. It has extensive mounds, and 
remains of a small temple of the time of Kemeses the Great, remarkable from its 
having at least ten, if not twelve obelisks. The name of Osirtasen III. found there 
(see Burton's Excerpta, pi. 38, 39, 40) shows that an older temple once stood at 
Tanis : and the great antiquity of Tanis is also shown by its existing in the time of 
Abraham, and being founded seven years after Hebron, where Sarah died (Gen. 
xxiii. 2 ; Num. xiii. 22). In "the field of Zoan" the miracles of Moses are said to 
have been performed (Ps. lxxviii. 12); and its present desolation shows how com- 
pletely the prophecies against it have been fulfilled. (Ezek. xxx. 14; Isa. xix. 11 ; 
xxx. 4.)— [G. W.] 



Book IL 

The Nomes of the Delta, or Lower Egypt, beginning from the East, were : 



Chief City. 

Modern Name. 


1. Heliopolis 

2. Bubastites 

3. Anthribites (with the j 

Isle of Myecphoris, j 



Tel Basta. 





j Sethrum, or f 
j Heracleopolis Parva j 

Abookeshayd (?) 


5. Phagroriopolites 

6. Arabia 

7. Sethroites 

8. Tanites 

9. Pharbsetliites 

10. Leontopolites . . . , 

11. Neout(Neut) 

12. Mendesius 

13. Papremites 

Shekh Hanaydik (?) 
Tel Fakkoos. 

Tel Shareeg (?) 










Harbayt, or Heurbayt. 
Tanbool (?) 
Ashmoon (?) 



Anysis, or Iseum (?) 

Abooseer (?) 

15. Sebennytes 

10. Anysis 

17. Sebennytes Inferior 

18. Elearcliia 

19. The Isle of Natho 

20. Xoites 

21. Onuphites 

22. Nitrites (Nitriotis) 

23. Prosopites 

24. Phthemphites 

25. Saites 

26. Phtheneotes 

27. Cabasites 

28. Naucratites 

29. Metelites 

30. Alexandrinorum 

31 . Hermopolites 

32. Menelaites 

33. Letopolites 

34. Marea, Libya 

35. Hammoniacus 





Banoob (?) 

Zakeek (?) 

Menoof (?) or Ibshadeh (?) 

Shooni (?) 



Prosopis, or Niciu 


Sais (Ssa) 


p ' 



| Alexandria, ) 



| Bacotis J " ' 


j Letopolis I 

1 Latona; Civitas ) 



Weseem (?) 

El Hayt (?) 

Seewah (Siwah). 

(For the Delta, its towns, and branches of the Nile, see Egypt and Thebes, vol. i. p. 399 to 455.) 
The Nomes of Upper Egypt, or the Thebaid, and of Heptanomis, beginning from the North, were : 










H i 





hJ \ 










L I 






Heracleopolites. . 
Oxyrhinchites . . . 


Hermopolites , 

Antinoitcs ( " in which 
are included the two 
Oases." Ptol. 4, 5.) 






14. Thinites. 

Tentyrites . 
Copti tes 

Thebarum . 


Hermonthites . 



Chief City. 



{ Crocodilopolis, or ) 
") Arsinoe ) 




Hermopolis Magna 







' "Tht8,near Abydus :'■ af- I 
terwards the capital was f 

Diospolis Parva 

Tentyris, Tentyra 


( Theba>, Diospolis Magna, j 
) " Egyptian Thebes." [ 
$ The Libyan, or Western ( 
) part of Thebes. S 



Apollinopolis Magna 


Modern Name. 



Mede6net el FyOom. 

El Kays. 

S Shekh Abadeh, or 

} Insine. 

Gow (Kow) el Kebeer. 

Ekhmim, or Akhmeem. 
Birbeh (?) or El Beerbeh (? 

Koft, or Kebt. 
Karnak, and 




Thmuis, Onuphis, Anysis, and Myecphoris 5 — this last canton 
consists of an island which lies over against the town of Bubas- 
tis. The Calasirians, when at their greatest number, have 
amounted to two hundred and fifty thousand. Like the Her- 
motybians they are forbidden to pursue any trade, and devote 
themselves entirely to warlike exercises, the son following the 
father's calling. 

167. Whether the Greeks borrowed from the Egyptians their 
notions about trade, like so many others, I cannot say for cer- 
tain. 6 I have remarked that the Thracians, the Scyths, the 
Persians, the Lydians, and almost all other barbarians, hold the 
citizens who practise trades, and their children, in less repute 
than the rest, while they esteem as noble those who keep aloof 
from handicrafts, and especially honour such as are given wholly 
to war. These ideas prevail throughout the whole of Greece, 
particularly among the Lacedaemonians. Corinth is the place 
where mechanics are least despised. 7 

5 See note 7 on Mendes, ch. 42. Sebennytus, the modern Semenood, has no 
remains, except a few sculptured stones, on one of which are the name and figure 
of the god. (See note * on ch. 43.) They are of the late time of Alexander, the 
son of Alexander the Great, in whose name Ptolemy Lagus was then Governor of 
Egypt. Semenood stands on the west bank of the modern Damietta branch. 
Athribis, now Benha-el-Assal, from its "honey," is marked by its mounds, still 
called Atreeb. The town was nearly a mile in length, E. and W\, and three-fourths 
of a mile N. and S. It is on the E. bank of the old Sebennytic (and modern 
Damietta) branch. Pharbrethus, now Harbayt (the same as the old name without 
the article P.), is between 12 and 13 miles to the N. of Bubastis. It stood on the 
Tanitic branch. The site of Thmuis is marked by a granite monolith at Tel-Etmai, 
b.'siring the name of Amasis. Its Coptic name is Tlimoui. It stands a short 
distance to the south of the Mendesian branch. Onuphis is supposed to have stood 
in the Sebennytic branch, a little below its union with the Phatmetic channel, and a 
little to the W. of Anysis, probably at the modern Banoob. Anysis may be Iseum, 
now Bebayt (see note 6 on ch. 61), about 6 miles below Sebennytus; and the name 
is probably ei-n-isi, "house (city) of Isis." Myecphoris was an island between the 
Tanitic and Pelusiac branches. See M. Eg. W\, vol. i. pp. 399-452. — [G. W.] 

6 These notions were not necessarily borrowed by one people from another, 
being very general in a certain state of society. — [G. W.] 

7 It is curious to find this trait in a Dorian state. But the situation of Corinth 
led so naturally to extensive trade, and thence to that splendour and magnificence 
of living by which the useful and ornamental arts are most encouraged, that in 
spite of Dorian pride and exclusiveness, the mechanic's occupation came soon to 
be regarded with a good deal of favour. As early as the time of Cypselus elaborate 
works of art proceeded from the Corinthian workshops, as the golden statue of 
Jupiter at Olympia (Paus. v. ii. § 4), and the plane-tree in the Corinthian treasury 
at Delphi (Plut. Sept. Sap. 21). Afterwards, under Periander, art was still more 
encouraged, and the offerings of the Cypselidaa at various shrines were such as to 
bear a comparison with the works of Polycratcs at Samos and of the Pisistratidas at 
Athens. (Ar. Pol. v. 9. Comp. Eph. Fr." 106, and Theophr. ap. Phot, in Kv^eXiSu^ 
dj/ridi^a.) A little later a Corinthian architect rebuilt the temple at Delphi. (Pau- 
san. X. v. ad fin.) Finally, Corinth became noted for the peculiar composition of 
its bronze, which was regarded as better suited for works of art than any other, 
and which under the name of Ms, Corinthiacum was celebrated throughout the 
world. (Plin. H. N. xxxiv. 3.) 


168. The warrior class in Egypt had certain special privileges 
in which none of the rest of the Egyptians participated except 
the priests. In the first place each man had twelve arurce 8 of 
land assigned him free from tax. (The arura is a square of a 
hundred Egyptian cubits, the Egyptian cubit being of the same 
length as the Samian. 9 ) All the warriors enjoyed this privilege 
together ; but there were other advantages which came to each 
in rotation, the same man never obtaining them twice. A 
thousand Calasirians, and the same number of Hermotybians, 
formed in alternate years the body-guard of the king ; and during 
their year of service these persons, besides their amiraz, received 
a daily portion of meat and drink, consisting of five pounds of 
baked bread, two pounds of beef, and four cups of wine. 1 

169. When Apries, at the head of his mercenaries, 2 and 
Amasis, in command of the whole native force of the Egyptians, 
encountered one another near the city of Momemphis, 3 an en- 
gagement presently took place. The foreign troops fought 
bravely, but were overpowered by numbers, in which they fell 
very far short of their adversaries. It is said that Apries be- 
lieved that there was not a god who could cast him down from 
his eminence, 4 so firmly did he think that he had established 
himself in his kingdom. But at this time the battle went 
against him, and, his army being worsted, he fell into the 
enemy's hands, and was brought back a prisoner to Sais, 5 where 

6 The arura, according to Herodotus and Horapollo, was a square of 100 cubits, 
and contained 10,000 square cubits, about 22,500 square feet. It was a little more 
than three-fourths of an English acre; and was only a land measure. The 12 arurae 
were about nine English acres. Diodorus says the land of Egypt had been divided 
by Sesostris into three parts, one of which was assigned to the military class, in 
order that they might be more ready to undergo the hazards of war, when they 
had property in the country for which they fought. This answered well at first, 
but in time the soldiers became more fond of their property than of glory, and 
another occupation took away the taste for war, as was the case with the Janissaries 
of Turkey.— [G. W.] 

9 On the Egyptian cubit, see App. en., iv. ad fin. It seems to have been rather 
more than 20| English inches. The ordinary Greek cubit was 1876 inches. 

1 These 2000 spearmen, selected by turns from the army, as a body-guard, had 
daily rations of 5 minoe (6 lbs. 8 oz. 14 dwt. 6 grs.) of bread, 2 of beef (2 lbs. 8 oz. 
5 dwt. 17 grs.), and 4 arusters, or a little more than 2 pints of wine, during their 
annual service. The mina seems to have been 16V 7 oz. ; the talent about 80 lbs. 
Troy. The mina in hieroglyphics is called men, or mna ; in Coptic, emna, or amna; 
and the talent ginshar. See P. A. Eg. W., vol. ii. p. 259.— [G. W.] 

2 See note 2 on ch. 163, and note 6 on ch. 152. 

3 See note 4 on ch. 163. 

4 This was probably after having obliged the Babylonians to retire from before 
Jerusalem (see note * on ch. 161); for before the end of his reign the return of 
Nebuchadnezzar must have convinced him of his enemy's power. His pride is noticed 
in Ezek. xxix. 3, 8, 9. See note 5 on ch. 177. — [G. W.] 

6 This was the royal residence of this 26th Sa'ite dynasty ; and the Bacred teme- 
nos or enclosure, containing the temple and the lake, was surrounded by massive 

Chap. 168, 169. APRIES PUT TO DEATH— HIS TOMB. 217 

he was lodged in what had been his own house, but was now 
the palace of Amasis. Amasis treated him with kindness, 8 and 
kept him in the palace for a while ; but, finding his conduct 
blamed by the Egyptians, who charged him with acting unjustly 
in preserving a man who had shown himself so bitter an enemy 
both to them and him, he gave Apries over into the hands of his 
former subjects, to deal with as they chose. Then the Egyptians 
took him and strangled him, but having so done, they buried 
him in the sepulchre of his fathers. This tomb is in the temple of 
Minerva, very near the sanctuary, on the left hand as one enters. 
The Saites buried all the kings who belonged to their canton 
inside this temple ; and thus it even contains the tomb of 
Amasis as well as that of Apries and his family. The latter 
is not so close to the sanctuary as the former, but still it is 
within the temple. It stands in the court, and is a spacious 
cloister, built of stone, and adorned with pillars carved so as to 
resemble palm-trees, 7 and with other sumptuous ornaments. 

walls of crude brick. Some houses also stood within it, but the town itself was 
outside the walls. It was the custom of the Egyptians in the early periods to 
enclose their garrison towns with strong crude brick walls, generally about fifteen 
or twenty feet thick, and fifty feet high, crowned with battlements in the form of 
Egyptian shields, as a breastwork to the spacious rampart, which was ascended by 
broad inclined planes ; and the temples had usually a separate enclosure within this 
general circuit. In their regular fortresses the outer walls were strengthened with 
square towers at intervals ; and parallel to the outer walls was a lower one of cir- 
cumvallation, distant about twelve to fifteen feet, the object of which was to pre- 
vent the enemy bringing his battering rams, or other engines directly against the 
main walls, before he had thrown down this advanced one; which, when the place 
was surrounded by a ditch, stood in the middle of it, and served as a tenaille and 
ravelin. In larger fortifications the ditch had both a scarp and counterscarp, and 
even a regular glacis (as at Semneh) ; and the low wall in the ditch was of stone, as 
at Contra Pselcis. There was also a wall running out at right angles from (and of 
equal height with) the main wall, which crossed the ditch, for the purpose of raking 
it, by what we should call a "flanking fire." There was one main gate, between 
two towers; and on the river side was a water-gate, protected by a covertway. 
This was a regular system of fortification ; but after the accession of the 18th 
dynasty these fortresses appear to have been seldom built ; and the lofty stone 
towers of the Propylaga being added to the temples became detached forts in each 
city, and an asylum for what was most precious, the sacred things, the persons of 
the king and priests, and the treasury, as well as a protection against foreign and 
domestic foes. (See Aristot. Polit. iv. 11.) Even Thebes had no wall of circuit; 
its hundred gates (a weakness in a wall) were those of the numerous courts of its 
temples ; and though the fortresses of Pelusium, and other strongholds of the 
frontiers, still continued to be used, towns were seldom enclosed by a wall, except 
small ones on a pass, or in some commanding position. See a letter in the Trans- 
actions of the Society of Literature, vol. iv., new series, on the level of the Nile and 
Egyptian fortification. — [G. W.] 

6 It has been thought that Apries may have continued to be nominally king, 
until Amasis had sufficiently established his power and reconciled the Egyptians to 
his usurpation; and the latter years of his reign may have been included in "the 
44 years of Amasis ; " but the shortness of that period, and the Apis stehe, disprove 
this.— [G. W.] 

7 They are common in Egyptian temples, particularly in the Delta, where they 


Within the cloister is a chamber with folding doors, behind 
which lies the sepulchre of the king. 

170. Here too, in this same precinct of Minerva at Sais, is 
the burial-place of one whom I think it not right to mention in 
such a connexion. 8 It stands behind the temple, against the 
back -wall, which it entirely covers. There are also some large 
stone obelisks in the enclosure, and there is a lake 9 near them, 
adorned with an edging of stone. In form it is circular, and in 
size, as it seemed to me, about equal to the lake in Delos called 
" the Hoop/' » 

171. On this lake it is that the Egyptians represent by night 

are often of granite, as at Bubastis, and Tanis. The date-palm was not, as Dr. 
Pickering thinks (p. 373), introduced into Egypt in the Hyksos period, being repre- 
sented on the tombs about the Pyramids of the 4th dynasty, where rafters for 
rooms are shown to have been already made of it, as at the present day. The palm- 
branch was also the emblem of " years " in the oldest dates. Its not being indicated 
at periods of which no records remain is no proof of its not being known in 
Africa then, or long before ; negative inferences are very doubtful ; and the evidence 
of a plant, or an animal, being found in ancient Egypt is frequently derived from 
the accidental preservation of a single monument. See Dr. Pickering's valuable 
work, the Races of Man, p. 386, seq. — [G. W.] 

* This was Osiris, in honour of whom many ceremonies were performed at SaYs, 
as in some other towns. — [G. W.] 

9 This lake still remains at Sa'is, the modern Sa-el-Hagar, " Sa of the stone ; " 
the ancient name being Ssa. (See above, note ° on ch. 62.) The stone casing, 
which always lined the sides of these sacred lakes, (and which may be seen at 
Thebes, Hermonthes, and other places,) is entirely gone ; but the extent of the 
main enclosure, which included within it the lake and temple, is very evident ; and 
the massive crude brick walls are standing to a great height. They arc about 
seventy feet thick, and have layers of reeds and rushes at intervals, to serve as 
binders. The lake is still supplied by a canal from the river. Some ruined houses 
stand on a ground within the enclosure (at b i>) near the lake, perhaps on the 
site of the palace, but of a much later time than Amasis. Many have been burnt. 
Their lofty walls in one part have obtained the name of El Kala, M the Citadel." 
It is difficult to ascertain the position of the temple of Minerva, as no ruins remain 
above ground, and you come to water a very short way below the surface, the Nile 
being of higher level than in former times. It stood within a " lemenos" or inner 
sacred enclosure near the lake, probably about e in the plan. At g may have been 
the royal tombs. Other tombs are in the mounds outside near the modern village, 
at p, and at q beyond the canal to the westward, is another burial-place, of private 
individuals. The lake is no longer, if it ever was, " round," but oblong, measuring 
nearly 2000 feet by 750. (See plan opposite.) — [G. W.] 

1 The Delian lake was a famous feature of the great temple or sacred enclosure 
of Apollo, which was the chief glory of that island. It is celebrated by the ancient 
poet Theognis (n.c. 548) under the same appellation (rpoxoaS-ns) assigned it by 
Herodotus (Theogn. 7) ; and is twice mentioned, once as Tpox6*<r<ra (Hymn, ad Del. 
261), and once as Trepnryris (Hymn, ad Apoll. 59), by Callimachus. Apollo was sup- 
posed to have been born upon its banks. Larchcr(note ad loc.) shows satisfactorily 
that it was situated within the sacred enclosure ; and decides with good reason in 
favour of its identity with the oval basin discovered by Messrs. Spon and Wheeler in 
1675, of which an "account is given in their Travels (vol. i. p. 85, French Tr.). 
The dimensions, which do not seem to have been accurately measured, are reckoned 
at 300 paces (1500 feet) by 200 (1000 feet). It was thus an oval, like the lake at 
Sa'is, and not very different in its dimensions. 

Cimdar building on level with the ground or burnt brui 

Maxtiie btutat/ys ofcrude brick. like towers 
D Remains ot'er brick buildings .This pari is called non el Kola the citadel 
E fite oT the Temple ofNcith < Minerva \ 
FG 'I'he walls oTIht Ti menos or sewred ewiasart .ntmnuidiug lb,- temple 

wbuli waa about r*o I'eH broad by about the same, in length 
L The lake where the ceremonies were performed .1/ the t'ete w/'.Vuts 
M Waits of (he town oTerhrick VO tret thick This ira/M pari iittrVO'\V* 
n lime the outer lac,' at' the ini// ,.v seen 
P.P. Remains of rr brick haute* 6 Mmutda trim granite Mack mi,! eurevfdb 


,V,> ■ri.Wumt, 

M.xieen Village- ft' _^ 


,%irony Wcgorc\-tinappLim'.& 

I'nbl by nApplenm .i-C.Y ) 

Chap. 170, 171. 



his sufferings 2 whose name I refrain from mentioning, and this 
representation they call their Mysteries. 3 I know well the 

2 The Egyptians and the Syrians had each the myth of a dying god; but they 
selected a different phenomenon for its basis ; the former the Nile, the Syrians, the 
aspect of nature, or, as Macrobius shows (Saturn, i. 26), the sun ; which, during 
one part of the year manifesting its vivifying effects on the earth's surface, seemed 
to die on the approach of winter ; and hence the notion of a god, who was both 
mortal and immortal. In the religion of Greece we trace this more obscurely ; but 
the Cretans believed that Jupiter had died, and even showed his tomb (Cic. Nat. 
Deor. 3), which made Callimachus, taking it literally, revile the Cretans as <; liars : " 

Kpfjres del tyevaTai, Kal yap rd<pov, S> ava, (re?o 
KpTjres eTeKT7J<r<WTO, <rv 5' ob &dues, eWt yap otet, 

— an epithet quoted by St. Paul from Epimenides. (Epistle to Titus i. 12.) This 
belief was perhaps borrowed from Egypt, or from Syria ; for the Greeks derided the 
notion of a god dying ; whence the remark of Xenophanes, and others, to the 
Egyptians, " If ye believe them to be gods, why do ye weep for them ; if they 
deserve your lamentations, why repute them to be gods?" Plut. de Is. 71.) 
They, on the other hand, committed the error of making men into gods, and mis- 
understanding the allegorical views of the Egyptians and others, ran into the gross- 
est errors respecting those deities they adopted. In Crete again, Apollo's grief for 
Atymnius was commemorated a 'Air6\~Aoov ZaKpvx^v spartivhv 'Atv/aviov" as that of 
Venus for Adonis in Syria, where the women sitting and weeping for Tammuz 
(Tamooz), and the Jews weeping in the high places, when they fell off to the idola- 
try of their neighbours (Ezek. viii. 6, 14; Jerem. hi. 21), show the general custom 
of the Syrians. The wailing of the orthodox Jews, though not unusual, was of a 
different kind (Numb. xxv. 6), and was permitted except on festivals. (Joseph, xi. 
55.) The lamentations of the Egyptians led to the remark of Apuleius : " ^Egyp- 
tiorum numinum fana plena plangoribus, Graeca plerumque choreis." — [G. W.] 

3 The sufferings and death of Osiris were the great mystery of the Egyptian 
religion ; and some traces of it are perceptible among other people of antiquity. 
His being the divine goodness, and the abstract idea of " good," his manifestation 
upon earth (like an Indian god), his death, and resurrection, and his office as judge 
of the dead in a future state, look like the early revelation of a future manifestation 
of the deity converted into a mythological fable ; and are not less remarkable than 
that notion of the Egyptians mentioned by Plutarch (in Vit. Numse), that a woman 
might conceive by the approach of some divine spirit. As Osiris signified "good," 
Typhon (or rather Seth) was "evil;" and the remarkable notion of good and evil 
being brothers is abundantly illustrated in the early sculptures ; nor was it till a 
change was made, apparently by foreigners from Asia, who held the doctrine of the 
two principles, that evil became confounded with sin, when the brother of Osiris no 

longer received divine 
honours. (See At. Eg. 
W., p. 124 to 127.) Till 
then sin, " the great ser- 
pent," or Aphophis, " the 
giant," was distinct from 
Seth, who was a deity, 
and part of the divine 
system, which recalls 
those words of Isaiah 
(xlv. 7), "I form the 
light, and create dark- 
ness ; I make peace, and 
create evil; I the Lord 
do these things ; " and 
in Amos (iii. 6), "shall 
there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it?" In like manner the my- 

No. I. 



Book II. 

whole course of trie proceedings in these ceremonies/ but they 
shall not pass my lips. So too, with regard to the mysteries of 


thology of India admitted the creator and destroyer as characters of the divine 

Being. Seth was even called Baal-Seth, and made the god of their enemies also, 

^a which was from war being an evil, as peace in the above verse is equiva- 

'^Y»— »- lent to good ; and in (Baal) Zephon we may perhaps trace the name of 

^1 -U . YA. Typhon. In the same sense the Egyptians represented Seth teaching a 

"gfT*> Pharaoh the use of the bow, and other weapons of destruction, which 

«C3i J were producers of evil. Sin, the giant Aphophis, as "the great serpent," 

t often with a human head, being represented pierced by the spear of 
Horus, or of Atmoo (as Re the " Sun "), recalls the war of the gods and 
M giants, and the fable of Apollo (or the sun) and the Python. Comp. 
* the serpent slain by Vishnoo. (See note on Book iv. ch. 191.) Osiris 

may be said rather to have presided over the judgment of the dead, than 
^*^ to have judged them ; he gave admission, to those who were found worthy, 

to the abode of happiness. He was not the avenging deity ; he did not 

punish, nor could he show mercy, or subvert the judgment pronounced. 

It was a simple question of fact. If wicked, they were destined to suffer 
punishment. A man's actions were 
balanced in the scales against 
justice or truth, and if found want- 
ing he was excluded from future 
happiness. Thus, though the Egyp- 
tians are said to believe the gods 
were capable of influencing destiny 
(Euseb. Pr. Ev. iii. 4) it is evident 
that Osiris (like the Greek Zeus) 
was bound by it ; and the wicked 
were punished, not because he re- 
jected them, but because they were 
wicked. Each man's conscience, 
released from the sinful body, was 
his own judge ; and self-condemna- 
tion hereafter followed up the 
yvwdi and alcrx^ Vi0 fffwrbv enjoined 
on earth. Thoth, therefore (or 
that part of the divine nature called intellect and conscience), weighed and con- 
demned ; and Horus (who had been left on earth to follow out the conquests of his 
father Osiris after he had returned to heaven) ushered in the just to the divine 
presence. — [G. W.] 

4 These mysteries of Osiris, Herodotus says, were introduced into Greece by the 
daughters of Danaus. (See note 5 on ch. 91, note ' on ch. 107, note * on ch. 182, 
and Book vi. n. ch. 53.) The fables of antiquity had generally several meanings ; 
they were either historical, physical, or religious. The less instructed were led to 
believe Osiris represented some natural phenomenon ; as the inundation of the Nile, 
which disappearing again, and losing its effects in the sea, was construed into the 
manifestation and death of the deity, destroyed by Typhon ; and the story of his 
body having been carried to Byblus, and that of the head which went annually from 
Egypt to that place, swimming on the sea (Lucian dc Dea Syria) for seven days, were 
tire allegory of the water of the Nile carried by the currents to the Syrian coast ; 
though Pausanias (x. 12) says they lamented Osiris, " when the Nile began to rise." 
His fabulous history was also thought by the Greeks to be connected with the sun ; 
but it was not so viewed in early times by the Egyptians; and this was rather an 
Asiatic notion, and an instance of the usual adaptation of deities to each other in 
different mythologies. Least of all was he thought to be a man deified ; and as 
Plutarch says (de Isid. s. 11, 20), "we are not to suppose the adventures related of 
him were actually true, or ever happened in fact;" and the real meaning of them 
was confined to those initiated into the higher mysteries. (See foregoing n.) The 

No. II. 

Chap. 172. REIGN OF AMASIS. 221 

Ceres, which the Greeks term " the Thesmophoria," 5 I know 
them, but I shall not mention them, except so far as may be 
done without impiety. The daughters of Danaus brought these 
rites from Egypt, and taught them to the Pelasgic women of 
the Peloponnese. Afterwards when the inhabitants of the pen- 
insula were driven from their homes by the Dorians, the rites 
perished. Only in Arcadia, where the natives remained and 
were not compelled to migrate, 6 their observance continued. 

172. After Apries had been put to death in the way that I 
have described above, Amasis reigned over Egypt. He belonged 
to the canton of Sais, being a native of the town called Siouph. 7 
At first his subjects looked down on him and held him in small 
esteem, because he had been a mere private person, and of a 
house of no great distinction ; but after a time Amasis succeeded 
in reconciling them to his rule, not by severity, but by clever- 
ness. Among his other splendour he had a golden foot-pan, in 
which his guests and himself were wont upon occasion to wash 
their feet. This vessel he caused to be broken in pieces, and 
made of the gold an image of one of the gods, which he set up 
in the most public place in the whole city ; upon which the 
Egyptians flocked to the image, and worshipped it with the 
utmost reverence. Amasis, finding this was so, called an assem- 

death of Adonis, and of Bacchus, and the story of Osiris being enticed by Typhon 
to get into a chest, which floated down the river, and was conveyed to " Byblus in 
Phoenicia," shows a close connexion between different religions ; and the rites of 
Adonis were performed in the temple of Venus at that place. (Lucian de Dea 
Syr.) Isis having found the chest, brought it back by sea to Egypt, and concealed 
it till she could meet her son Horus. In the meantime Typhon discovered it, and 
having cut up the body into fourteen pieces, distributed them over different parts 
of the country. She then went in a boat made of papyrus rushes, in quest of the 
scattered members, and having found them, buried them in various places, which 
accounts for the many burial-places of Osiris, as her adventures by water do for the 
representations on the lake of Sais. The portion of the mysteries imparted to stran- 
gers, as to Herodotus, Plutarch, and others, and even to Pythagoras, was limited ; 
and the more important secrets were not even revealed to all " the priests, but to 
those only who were the most approved." (Clemens. Strom, v. 7, p. 

Of the resemblance of the Indian Rama, his army of Satyrs, and his conquest 
of India, see Sir W. Jones, vol. i. p. 262. In the Vedas (written before the later 
notions about transmigration of the soul) is a deity called Yama, who bears a strong 
resemblance to Osiris, being the ruler of the dead, who gives a place of happiness 
hereafter to the souls of good men. The analogy is made more striking by his 
having lived on earth with his sister and wife Yami (as Osiris with Isis) ; and they, 
like Adam and Eve, were the parents of the human race. See Journ. American 
Orient. Soc, vol. ill. No. 2, pp. 328, 336.— [G. W.] 

5 See note on Book vi. ch. 16. 6 Compare viii. 73, and note ad loc. 

7 This place is supposed to have stood to the north of Sais, at Sejfek, on the 
east bank of the modern Rosetta branch. Plato thinks Amasis was from Safs itself 
(in Tim.) — Herodotus says he was of plebeian origin ; but the two facts of his hav- 
ing become King of Egypt, and having married the daughter of a king, argue 
against this assertion ; and Diodorus, with more reason, describes him as a person 
of consequence, which is confirmed by his rank as a general, and his being a dis- 
tinguished member of the military class. — [G. W.] 


bly, and opened the matter to them, explaining how the image 
had been made of the foot-pan, wherein they had been wont 
formerly to wash their feet and to put all manner of filth, yet 
now it was greatly reverenced. u And truly/' he went on to 
say, " it had gone with him as with the foot-pan. If he was a 
private person formerly, yet now he had come to be their king. 
And so he bade them honour and reverence him." Such was 
the mode in which he won over the Egyptians, and brought 
them to be content to do him service. 

173. The following was the general habit of his life : — From 
early dawn to the time when the forum is wont to fill, 8 he sed- 
ulously transacted all the business that was brought before him ; 
during the remainder of the day he drank and joked with his 
guests, passing the time in witty and, sometimes, scarce seemly 
conversation. It grieved his friends that he should thus demean 
himself, and accordingly some of them chid him on the subject, 
saying to him, — " Oh ! king, thou dost but ill guard thy royal 
dignity whilst thou allowest thyself in such levities. Thou 
shouldest sit in state upon a stately throne, and busy thyself 
with affairs the whole day long. So would the Egyptians feel 
that a great man rules them, and thou wouldst be better spoken 
of. But now thou conductest thyself in no kingly fashion." 
Amasis answered them thus : — " Bowmen bend their bows 
when they wish to shoot ; unbrace them when the shooting is 
over. Were they kept always strung they would break, and 
fail the archer in time of need. So it is with men. If they 
give themselves constantly to serious work, and never indulge 
awhile in pastime or sport, they lose their senses, and become 
mad or moody. Knowing this, I divide my life between pastime 
and business." Thus he answered his friends. 

174. It is said that Amasis, even while he was a private 
man, had the same tastes for drinking and jesting, and was 
averse to engaging in any serious employment. He lived in 
constant feasts and revelries, and whenever his means failed him, 
he roamed about and robbed people. On such occasions the 

8 In early times the Greeks divided the day into three parts, as in Homer, Iliad 
xxi. Ill, r?ois, 5ei\r), \daov f^xap. The division, according to Dio Chrysostomus (De 
Gloria Orat. 67 ; see also Jul. Pollux Onom. i. 68) was 71-pau, sunrise, or early morn ; 
irepl it kii&ovoav ayopav, market time (Xenoph. Anab. 1.), or forenoon, the third hour ; 
fxsoriixfipia, midday; tieih% or 7repl Sii\r]v, afternoon, or the niuth hour; and eawepa, 
evening, or sunset. These are very like the Arabic divisions at the present time, 
for each of which they have a stated number of prayers: sxbh, " morning 1 ' (which 
is also subdivided into el fegr, " daybreak," answering to the Greek upbpiov, " dawn ") ; 
ddha, " forenoon ; " dohr, "midday;" asser, " afternoon " (midway between noon 
and sunset) ; and mughreb, " sunset;" after which is the JEshcr, at one hour and a 
half after sunset, when the last or filth set of daily prayers is said. — [G. W.] 

Chap. 173-175. 



persons from whom he had stolen would bring him, if he denied 
the charge, before the nearest oracle ; sometimes, the oracle 
would pronounce him guilty of the theft, at other times it would 
acquit him. When afterwards he came to be king, he neglected 
the temples of such gods as had declared that he was not a thief, 
and neither contributed to their adornment, nor frequented them 
for sacrifice ; since he regarded them as utterly worthless, and 
their oracles as wholly false : but the gods who had detected 
his guilt he considered to be true gods whose oracles did not 
deceive ; and these he honoured exceedingly. 

175. First of all, therefore, he built the gateway 9 of the 
temple of Minerva at Sais, which is an astonishing work, far 
surpassing all other buildings of the same kind both in extent 
and height, and built with stones of rare size and excellency. 
In the next place, he presented to the temple a number of large 
colossal statues, and several prodigious andro-sphinxes, 1 besides 

J Not a " portico," as Larcher supposes, but the lofty towers of the Area, or 
Court of Entrance, which Herodotus properly describes of great height and size. 
See note 4 on ch. 155, and woodcut there. — [G. W.] 

1 The usual sphinxes of the dromos, or avenue, leading to the entrance of the 
large temples. Sometimes kneeling rams were substituted for androsphinxes, as at 
Karnak, Gebel Berkel, and other places ; and sometimes lions. The androsphinx 
had the head of a man and the body of a lion, symbolising the union of intellectual 
and physical strength, and Clemens and Plutarch say they were placed before the 
temples as types of the mysterious nature of the Deity. (Strom, v. 5, p. 664, and 7, 
p. 671, and Plut. de Is. s. 9.) There were also the criosphinx, with the head of a 
ram ; the hieracosphinx, with that of a hawk ; and sometimes the paintings repre- 
sented an asp, or some other snake (see woodcut below, No. VII. fig. 2), in lieu of a 
head, attached to the body of a lion. Egyptian sphinxes were not composed of a 
woman and a lion, like those of Greece ; and if an instance occurs of this, it was 
a mere caprice, and probably a foreign innovation, justified by its representing a 
queen, the wife of King Horus, of the 18th dynasty; and they are sometimes seen 
in the sculptures that portray the spoil taken from Asiatic nations. One of them 
forms the cover of a vase, either of gold or silver ; rings (or ore) of which are 
probably contained in the sealed bags below ; and the same head is affixed to other 
ornaments taken from the same countries, in the immediate neighbourhood of the 
Xaharayn, or Mesopotamia, by the arms of Sethi, the father of the great Remeses. 
Another foreign sphinx has the crested head of the Assyrian " msr." 

One sphinx has been found of the early time of the 6th dynasty (in the posses- 
sion of Mr. Larking, of Alexandria), having the name of King Merenre ; and anoth- 
er of the 12th dynasty (on a scarabaeus of the Louvre) ; which at once decide the 



Book II. 

certain stones for the repairs, of a most extraordinary size. 
Some of these he got from the quarries over against Memphis, 

No. III. 

No. IV. 

priority of those of Egypt. The great sphinx at the Pyramids is of the time of a 
Thothmes of the 18th dynasty (note 1 on ch. 127). Sometimes an androsphinx, in- 
stead of the lion's paws, has human hands, with a vase, or censer, between them. 
The winged sphinx is rare in Egypt ; but a few solitary instances occur of it on the 
monuments, and on scarabaei ; as well as of the hawk-headed sphinx, called sefer, 

No. V. 

No. VI. 

which is winged (fig. 3). There is also a fabulous animal called sak, with the head of a 
hawk, the body of a lion, and the tail terminating in a lotus flower (fig. 5) — a strange 
combination of the bird, quadruped, and vegetable — as well as other fanciful crea- 

No. VII 


but the largest were brought from Elephantine, 2 which is twenty 
days' voyage from Sais. Of all these wonderful masses that 
which I most admire is a chamber made of a single stone, 3 which 
was quarried at Elephantine. It took three years to convey 
this block from the quarry to Sais ; and in the conveyance were 
employed no fewer than two thousand labourers, who were all 
from the class of boatmen. The length of this chamber on the 
outside is twenty-one cubits, its breadth fourteen cubits, and 
its height eight. The measurements inside are the following : — 
the length, eighteen cubits and five-sixths ; the breadth, twelve 
cubits ; and the height, five. It lies near the entrance of the 
temple, where it was left in consequence of the following cir- 
cumstance : — It happened that the architect, just as the stone 
had reached the spot where it now stands, heaved a sigh, con- 
sidering the length of time that the removal had taken, and 
feeling wearied with the heavy toil. The sigh was heard by 
Amasis, who regarding it as an omen, would not allow the 
chamber to be moved forward any further. Some, however, 
say, that one of the workmen engaged at the levers was crushed 
and killed by the mass, and that this was the reason of its being 
left where it now stands. 

tures, one of which has the spotted body of a leopard, with a winged human head 
on its back resembling a modern cherub ; and another is like a gazelle with wings 
(fig. 1). There is also the square-eared quadruped, the emblem of Seth (fig. 4). 
The unicorn also occurs in the same early paintings. To this was generally attach- 
ed the idea of great " strength " (Numb, xxiii. 22, and xxiv. 8), for which the real 
unicorn (the rhinoceros) was noted ; and with this view the sculptors of the Nineveh 
obelisk, and of Persepolis (Ker Porter, i. PL 35), who had never seen it, represented 
it under the form of a bull, their emblem of strength (Cp. Pausan. ix. 21): but the 
Egyptian unicorn, even in the early time of the 12th dynasty, was the rhinoceros; 
and though less known then than afterwards, it had the pointed nose and small tail 
of that animal, of which it is a rude representation. Over it is " ebo," a name ap- 
plied also to " ivory," and to any large beast. The winged Greek sphinxes, so com- 
mon on vases, are partly Egyptian, partly Phoenician in their character, the recurved 
tips of the wings being evidently taken from those of Astarte. (See woodcut No. 
4 in App. to B. iii. Essay i.) 

The Romans sometimes gave to sphinxes the head of a man, sometimes of a 
woman, with the royal asp upon the forehead, in sculptures of late time. It is re- 
markable that in India a sphinx is said to represent the fourth avatar of Vishnoo, 
and in Thibet it is called nara-sinhas, " man-lion," or merely sinhas, " lion," pro- 
nounced singhas, like acptyyas. — [G. W.] 

2 These were granite blocks. — [G. W.] 

3 The form and dimensions of this monolith were very like that of the same king 
at Tel-et-mai, Thmuis, or Leontopolis (given in Mr. Burton's Excerpta, plate 41), 
which measures 21 ft. 9 high, 13 ft. broad, and 11 ft. 7 deep, and internally 19 ft. 
3, 8 ft., and 8 ft. 3. That of Sais, according to Herodotus, was 31 ft. 6 long, 22 ft. 
broad, and 12 ft. high, and, within, 28 ft. 3, 18 ft., and 7£. His length is really the 
height, when standing erect. It was not equal in weight to the granite Colossus of 
Remeses at Thebes, which weighed upwards of 887 tons, and it was far inferior to 
the monolith of Buto, which was taken from the same quarries. See note 6 on ch. 
155.— [G. W.] 

Vol. II.— 15 


176. To the other temples of much note Amasis also made 
magnificent offerings — at Memphis, for instance, he gave the 
recumbent colossus 4 in front of the temple of Vulcan, which is 
seventy-five feet long. Two other colossal statues stand on the 
same base, each twenty feet high, carved in the stone of Ethi- 
opia, one on either side of the temple. There is also a stone 
colossus of the same size at Sais, recumbent like that at Mem- 
phis. Amasis finally built the temple of Isis at Memphis, a 
vast structure, well worth seeing. 

177. It is said that the reign of Amasis was the most pros- 
perous time that Egypt ever saw, 5 — the river was more liberal 

4 It was an unusual position for an Egyptian statue ; and this, as well as the other 
at Memphis, and the monolith, many have been left on the ground, in consequence 
of the troubles which came upon Egypt at the time ; and which the Egyptians con- 
cealed from Herodotus. Strabo speaks of a Colossus of a single stone, lying before 
the dromos of the temple at Memphis, in which the bull fights were held. This may 
be the statue of Amasis. — [G. W.] 

5 This can only relate to the internal state of the country ; and what Herodotus 
afterwards says shows this was his meaning. The flourishing internal condition of 
Egypt is certainly proved by the monuments, and the wealth of private individuals 
was very remarkable ; but Egypt had lost all its power abroad, and had long been 
threatened, if not actually invaded, by the Babylonians. Indeed the civil war between 
Apries and Amasis had probably given Nebuchadnezzar an opportunity for interfer- 
ing in Egypt ; and if Amasis was forced to pay tribute to the Babylonians for quiet 
possession of the throne, this might account for the prophecy in Ezekiel (ch. xxix.), 
which is so perplexing, that Egypt should be given to Nebuchadnezzar, and be " a base 
kingdom," raising itself no more to "rule over the nations." Its being the basest 
of kingdoms, uninhabited forty years (v. 11), and its cities desolate, appears to accord 
badly with the prosperous time of Amasis; if all this was to happen alter the year 585 
b. c, when Tyre was taken, and consequently to extend into his reign (Ezek. xxix. 18). 
Still less could the captivity of Egypt date before the fall of Nineveh, as has been sup- 
posed from Nahum (Hi. 8). The successful reign of Apries, and his obliging the Chal- 
deans to raise the siege of Jerusalem (Jer. xxxvii. 5), render it impossible; and the 
civil war between Apries and Amasis happening after the taking of Tyre, would agree 
better with the statement of Ezekiel (xxix. 18) as to the time of Nebuchadnezzar's in- 
vasion of Egypt. That it took place is directly stated by Ezekiel and Jeremiah (xliii. 
10, and xlvi. 13) : the opportunity for interference was favourable for the Babyloni- 
ans ; and the mere fact of a tribute being imposed by Nebuchadnezzar would account 
for the great calamities described by those prophets, which to the Egyptians would be 
the utmost humiliation. Many tributes too were imposed on people without absolute 
conquest or invasion. The reference to the pride of Apries in Ezekiel (xxix. 3) also 
argues that it was at his downfall; and this is again foretold in Isaiah (xix. 2). There 
is, however, a difficulty in the forty years, occupying as they would so great a por- 
tion of the reign of Amasis. (See Hist. Notice, App. ch. viii., end of § 37). During 
his reign, and before 554 b. c. (when Sardis was taken), Croesus had made a treaty of 
alliance with Amasis, as well as with the Babylonians, at the time that kabynetus 
(Nabonidus?) reigned in Babylon (supra, i. 77); from which it might be argued that 
the Egyptians were bound to follow the policy of the Babylonians ; and the Egyptian 
phalanx in the Lydian army is mentioned by Xenophoii. (See Cyrop. vi. ii. 10, and 
vii. i. 30-45.) Again, it has been supposed "that the captivity of Egypt should rather 
refer to the Persian invasion, which could scarcely have been overlooked in pro- 
phecy ; but these denouncements did not allude to events about to happen long after 
the fall of Jerusalem ; they were to show the hopelessness of trusting to Egypt against 
the power of Babylon ; and the invasion of Egypt by the Persians had no connexion 
with Jewish history. Nor is it certain that 40 is always to be taken as an exact 

Chap. 176-178. 



to the land, and the land brought forth more abundantly foi 
the service of man than had ever been known before ; while the 
number of inhabited cities was not less than twenty thousand. 
It was this king Amasis who established the law that every 
Egyptian should appear once a year before the governor of his 
canton, 6 and show his means of living ; or, failing to do so, and 
to prove that he got an honest livelihood, should be put to 
death. Solon the Athenian borrowed this law from the Egyp- 
tians, and imposed it on his countrymen, who have observed it 
ever since. It is indeed an excellent custom. 

178. Amasis was partial to the Greeks, 7 and among other 
favours which he granted them, gave to such as liked to settle 
in Egypt the city of Naucratis 8 for their residence. To those 

number ; its frequent occurrence in the Bible (like 7 and some others) shows this 
could not be ; and 4, or 40, is considered to signify "completion," or "perfection," 
like the square, and the number 24 in Arabic. See Hist. Notice, 8 38, and note 2 on 
ch. 100, and on ch. 8, Book in.— [G. W.] 

6 Each nome, or canton, was governed by a monarch. Herodotus attributes this 
law to Amasis ; but it appears to have been much older ; since we find in the sculp- 
tures of the 18th dynasty bodies of men presenting themselves before the magis- 
trates for registration. It is possible that Amosis, the first king of that dynasty, 
made the law, and that the resemblance of the two names led to the mistake. Dio- 
dorus (i. 77) mentions it as an Egyptian law, and agrees with Herodotus in saying 
that Solon introduced it at Athens ; but it was Draco who made death the punish^ 
ment at Athens; which was altered by Solon (Plut. Life of Solon), " who repealed 

all Draco's laws, excepting those concerning murder, because they were too severe ;" 
" insomuch that those who were convicted of idleness were condemned to die." But 
Solon " ordered the Areopagites to ascertain how every man got his living, and to 
chastise the idle."— [G. W.] 

7 Amasis had reason to be hostile to the Greeks, who had assisted Apries, but 
perceiving the value of their aid, he became friendly to them, and granted them 
many privileges, which had the effect of inducing many to settle in Egypt, and after- 
wards led them to assist the Egyptians in freeing their country from the Persians. 
_[G. W.] 

3 This was " formerly " the only commercial entrepot for Greek merchandise, and 


who only wished to trade upon the coast, and did not want to 
fix their abode in the country, he granted certain lands where 
they might set up altars and erect temples to the gods. Of 
these temples the grandest and most famous, which is also the 
most frequented, is that called " the Hellenium." It was built 
conjointly by the Ionians, Dorians, and iEolians, the following 
cities taking part in the work, — the Ionian states of Chios, Teos, 
Phocsea, and Clazomenee ; Ehodes, Cnidus, Halicarnassus, and 
Phaselis 9 of the Dorians ; and Mytilene of the iEolians. These 
are the states to whom the temple belongs, and they have the 
right of appointing the governors of the factory ; the other 
cities which claim a share in the building, claim what in no 
sense belongs to them. Three nations, however, consecrated 
for themselves separate temples, the Eginetans one to Jupiter, 
the Samians to Juno, and the Milesians to Apollo. 1 

179. In ancient times there was no factory but Naucratis 
in the whole of Egypt ; and if a person entered one of the other 
mouths of the Nile, he was obliged to swear, that he had not 
come there of his own free will. Having so done, he was bound 
to sail in his ship to the Canobic mouth, or, were that impossible 
owing to contrary winds, he must take his wares by boat all 
round the Delta, and so bring them to Naucratis, which had an 
exclusive privilege. 

was established for the first time by Amasis. The privileges enjoyed by Naucratis 
were not only owing to the exclusive regulations of the Egyptians, like those of the 
Chinese at the present day, but were a precaiition against pirates landing on the 
coast, under pretence of trading. (See notes B and J on cbs. 112 and 154.) The 
exact position of Naucratis is unknown. The name is Greek, like that of Archander 
(supra, ch. 98). Of the Naucratis garlands, see Athen. Deip. xv. — [G. W.] 

The story told by Strabo (xvii. p. 1137) of the foundation of Naucratis by the 
Milesians in the time of Inarm is entitled to no manner of credit. It may be ques- 
tioned whether Naucratis was in any real sense " a Milesian colony." 

9 Phaselis lay on the east coast of Lycia, directly at the base of Mount Sol y ma 
(Takhtalu). It was sometimes reckoned to Pamphylia (Plin. H. N. v. 27 ; Mela, i. 
14 ; Steph. Byz. ad voc.), but more commonly, and by the best geographers, to 
Lycia (Scyl. Peripl. p. 94; Strab. xiv. p. 952; Ptolem. v. 3; Arrian. i. 24, &c). 
According to tradition, it was founded by Lacius, the brother of Antiphemus, the 
Lindian colonizer of Gela. (Heropyth. and Philosteph. ap. Athen. Deipn. vii. p. 
297, f. and Aristaenet. ap. Steph. Byz. ad voc. TeAa.) This would place its foun- 
dation about b. c. 690. There seems to be no doubt that it was a purely Greek 

The remains of Phaselis are very considerable, and have been carefully described 
by Capt. Beaufort. (Karamania, pp. 59-70.) Its modern name is Tckrova. The 
part of the coast where it is situated abounds in woods of pine, which explains its 
ancient name of Pityussa. (See Steph. Byz. ad voc. Qaa-qXls.) 

The other places here mentioned are too well known to need comment 

5 That is, to the gods specially worshipped in their respective countries. The 
great temple of Jupiter Panhellenius in Egina, briefly described by Pausaniaa (n. 
xxix. § 6), is well known to travellers. That of Apollo at Branchidffi, and that of 
Juno at Samos, have been already noticed. (Supra, i. 157, ii. 148.) 

Chap. 179-181. AMASIS MARRIES LADICE. 229 

180. It happened in the reign of Amasis that the temple 
of Delphi had been accidentally burnt, 2 and the Amphictyons 3 
had contracted to have it rebuilt for three hundred talents, of 
which sum one-fourth was to be furnished by the Delphians. 
Under these circumstances the Delphians went from city to 
city begging contributions, and among their other wanderings 
came to Egypt, and asked for help. From few other places 
did they obtain so much — Amasis gave them a thousand talents 
of alum, 4 and the Greek settlers, twenty minse. 5 

181. A league was concluded by Amasis with the Cyre- 
nseans, by which Cyrene and Egypt became close friends and 
allies. He likewise took a wife from that city, either as a sign 
of his friendly feeling, or because he had a fancy to marry a 
Greek woman. However this may be, certain it is that he es- 
poused a lady of Cyrene, by name Ladice, 6 daughter, some say, 
of Battus or Arcesilaiis, the king 7 — others, of Critobulus, one 
of the chief citizens. When the time came to complete the 
contract, Amasis was struck with weakness. Astonished hereat 
— for he was not wont to be so afflicted — the king thus addressed 
his bride : " Woman, thou hast certainly bewitched me — now 
therefore be sure thou shalt perish more miserably than ever 
woman perished yet." Ladice protested her innocence, but in 
vain; Amasis was not softened. Hereupon she made a vow 
internally, that if he recovered within the day (for no longer 
time was allowed her), she would present a statue to the temple 
of Venus at Cyrene. Immediately she obtained her wish, and 

2 The temple at Delphi was burnt in the year b. c. 54S (Pausan. X. v. § 5), con- 
sequently in the 21st year of Amasis. According to one account (Philoch. Fr. 70), 
it was purposely destroyed by the Pisistratidae. But this was probably a calumny. 
Its reconstruction by the Alcmaeonidae, who took the contract from the Amphic- 
tyons, is noticed in Book v. ch. 62. 

3 See note on Book vii. ch. 200. 

4 That of Egypt was celebrated: "laudatissima in iEgypto." (Plin. xxxv. 15.) 
Much is still obtained in the Oasis, but the best is from Sheb (which signifies " alum"), 
to the south of the Great Oasis, on the caravan road from Darfur. — [G. W.] 

5 Twenty minae would be somewhat more than eighty pounds of our money. 
The entire sum which the Delphians had to collect exceeded 18,000^. 

6 One wife of Amasis was a daughter of the third Psammetichus, and 
another is mentioned on the monuments called Tashot, which looks like 
a foreign (Asiatic) name. Amasis had the title of Naitsi, " son of 
Keith," or Minerva; and this name, Ames-Neitsi, has been changed by 
Pliny into Seneserteus, who (he says) reigned when Pythagoras was in 
Egypt ; -[G. w.] 

7 Some of the MSS. give the reading "Battus, the son of Arcesilaiis," 
which Wesseling prefers. But the weight of authority is on the other Jtrrrrr d. 
side. The chronology cf the Cyrenaean kings is so obscure, that it is 

difficult to say which monarch or monarchs are intended. Perhaps Battus the 
Happy, and Arcesilaiis II., his son, have the best claim. (See note on Book iv. 
ch. 163.) 




Book II. 

the king's weakness disappeared. Amasis loved her greatly 
ever after, and Ladice performed her vow. The statue which 
she caused to be made, and sent to Cyrene, continued there to 
my day, standing with its face looking outwards from the city. 
Ladice herself, when Cambyses conquered Egypt, suffered no 
wrong ; for Cambyses, on learning of her who she was, sent her 
back unharmed to her country. 

182. Besides the marks of favour already mentioned, Amasis 
also enriched with offerings many of the Greek temples. He 
sent to Cyrene a statue of Minerva covered with plates of gold, 9 
and a painted likeness 9 of himself. To the Minerva of Lindus 

3 8tatues of this kind were not uncommon (infra, vi. 118). The most famous 
was that of Minerva at Delphi, which the Athenians dedicated from the spoils of 
their victory at the Eurymedon. (Pausan. X. xv. § 3 ; Clitod. Fr. 15.) 

9 The Egyptians had actual portraits of their kings at a very remote period ; 
and those in the sculptures were real likenesses. That sent by Amasis to Cyrene 
was on wood, like the 7nVa/cey, or ypa(pal (tabulae), of the Greeks ; and similar pic* 
tures are shown to have been painted in Egypt as early as the 12th dynasty, nearly 

2000 n. c. (Cp. Pliny, xxxv. 3, vii. 56, where he says, " Gvges, the Lydian, first 
invented painting in Egypt.") In Greece pictures (often hung up in temples) wore 
works of the best artists, frescoes and others on walls being an inferior branch of 
art ("nulla gloria artificum est, nisi eorum qui tabnlas pinxere ; " Pliu. xxxv. 10) ; 
and we may conclude that in Egypt also the real artists were those who painted 
pictures. The bas-reliefs and paintings on the monuments were executed more 
mechanically, the figures being drawn in squares; but in many cases the use of the 
squares was for copying the figures from smaller original designs of the master-ar- 
tist ; and some figures were drawn at once without the squares, and then corrected 
by the master. When in squares, 19 parts were given to the height of a man from 
the top of the head to the plant of the foot ; and so systematic was this method, 
that in statues Diodorus says (i. 98) the various portions of the same figure, made 
by several artists in different places, when brought together, would agree perfectly, 
and make a complete whole. In his time, however, the proportions had been altered, 
and he gives 21£ parts as the height of the figure. It seems, too, that they were 
somewhat different in statues and painted figures. These last also varied at times. 
The above, of 19 parts, was used in the best period of art during the 18th and 19th 
dynasties. The figures w^ere then a little more elongated than during the reigns of 
the Memphite kings (a greater distance being given from the plant of the 
foot to the knee), and still more than under the Ptolemies, when an attempt to 
bring the proportions nearer to the real figure altered its character, and gave it a 
clumsiness, without any approach to greater truth. For the Egyptian style was 

Chap. 182. 





Book II. 

he gave two statues in stone, and a linen corslet ' well worth in- 
spection. To the Samian Juno he presented two statues of 
himself, made in wood, 2 which stood in the great temple to my 

quite conventional, and could never be subjected to any other rules ; and the 
Ptolemaic figure, as Dr. Lepsius observes, " was a bad imitation of foreign and ill- 
understood art." (See his Letters from Egypt, p. 117.) With the Greeks the length 
of the foot was "the measure whose proportion to the entire height was generally 
maintained" (Muller, Anct. Art. p. 392) ; but as in Egypt it is equal in length to 3 
squares, or parts, it cannot answer for a figure of 19. And six of these feet coming 
only to the forehead, which varied so much as to be "f, or -£, or less of another 
square," shows that neither the foot, nor the arbitrary and variable point to which 
it was measured, could be any guide. In the best period, from the ground to the 
knee was 6 parts, or 2 feet ; but the figure was greater in breadth as compared to 
its height in the pyramid period than during the 18th and 19th dynasty ; the distance 
from the ground to the knee, though 6 parts, was less than 2 feet, and the waist was 
nearly 3 parts (or 2|) ; while at the 18th dynasty period it was only 2 parts in breadth. 
In the old pyramid time the length of the foot was 2 6 of the whole figure to the top 
of the head ; in the other period much less (3 x 6 being 18) ; so that there must have 
been another standard; and the great difference was in the breadth, compared to the 
height, of the figure ; a difference in the number of the squares is also said to have 
been met with. (See Handbook of Egypt, Route 29, Ombos.} 

There are some portraits painted on wood and affixed to mummy cases, but these 
are of Greek and Roman time, and an innovation not Egyptian. — [G. W.j 

1 Some of these linen corslets - ■ 
were of very remarkable texture; 
and Herodotus (iii. 47) mentions an- 
other presented by Amasis to the 
Lacedaemonians, which was carried 
off by the Samians. It was orna- 
mented with numerous figures of 
animals, worked in gold and cot- 
ton. Each thread was worthy of 
admiration, for though very fine, 
every one was composed of 360 
other threads, all distinct, the qual- 
ity being similar to that dedicated 
to Minerva at Lindus. Gold thread, 
it should be observed, is men- 
tioned in Exod. xxxix. 3 for work- 
ing in rich colours (see At. Eg. vol. 
iii. p. 128). It has been conjec- 
tured that the "tree-wool" of He- 
rodotus was silk; but cotton is com- 
monly used for embroidery even 
at the present day. (See above, eh. 
86, note 6 .) A similar corslet with 
figures of animals is represented in 
the tomb of Remeses III. at 
Thebes. Lucan (Phars. x. 142) 
mentions the needlework of Egypt : 

"Candida SUlonio perlucent pectora tilo 
Quod Nilotis acus comprcsBum pec.tine 

Solvit, et extenso laxavit stamina vela." 

Pliny (xix. 1) notices "the corslet of Amasis, shown in the Temple of Minerva at 
Rhodes," which seems to have been nearly pulled to pieces (as it would be now), to 
test "the 365 threads."— [G. W.] 

2 These were not uncommon ; and many have been found of kings who 


day, behind the doors. Samos was honoured with these gifts 
on account of the bond of friendship subsisting between Amasis 
and Polycrates, the son of iEaces : 3 Lindus, for no such reason, 
but because of the tradition that the daughters of Danaus 4 
touched there in their flight from the sons of iEgyptus, and 
built the temple of Minerva. Such were the offerings of Ama- 
sis. He likewise took Cyprus, which no man had ever done 
before, 5 and compelled it to pay him a tribute. 6 

preceded Amasis in the same buildings where granite and other statues of the 
same period were placed. Pausanias (ii. 19) says "all ancient statues were of 
wood, especially those of the Egyptians; " and if in Egypt they were no proof of 
antiquity, still the oldest there also were probably of wood. — [G. W\] 

3 Vide infra, iii. 39-43. 

4 The flight of Danaus from Egypt to Greece is not only mentioned by He- 
rodotus, but by Manetho and others, and was credited both by Greeks and Egyp- 
tians; and it is certainly very improbable (as Mr. Kenrick observes) that the 
Greeks would have traced the colonisation of Argos, and the origin of certain 
rites, to Egypt, unless there had been some authority for the story. The 
foundation of the Temple of Lindus in Rhodes by the daughters of Danaus, 
when flying from Egypt, accords with the notion of colonisation and relig- 
ious rites passing from the Egyptians to the Greeks ; and the tradition of the re- 
lationship between yEgyptus, Danaus, and Belus, connects the three countries of 
Egypt, Greece, and Phoenicia. See note 4 , ch. 101, and note ', ch. 107. — [G. W.] 

5 Cyprus seems to have been first occupied by the Chittim, a Japhetic race 
(Gen. x. 4). To them must be attributed the foundation of the original capital, 
Citium. Before the Trojan war, however, the Phoenicians had made themselves 
masters of the island, which they may have named Cyprus, from the abundance of 
the herb cyprus (Lawsonia alba), called in the Hebrew "IBS, which is found there. 
(Steph. Byz. ad voc. Kimpos. Plin. H. N. xii. 24.) According to Greek tradition, 
the conquest was effected by a certain Cinyras, a Syrian king (Theopomp. Er. Ill ; 
Apollod. in. xiv. § 3), whom Homer makes contemporary with Agamemnon. (II. 
xi. 20). His capital was Paphos. If we may believe Virgil, the Cittaeans soon re- 
gained their independence, for Belus, the father of Dido (more properly Matgen, 
Menand. ap. Joseph, c. Ap. i. 18), had again to reduce the island (Mx\. i. 621-2), 
where, according to Alexander of Ephesus, he built (rebuilt ?) the two cities of 
Citium and Lapethus. (See Steph. Byz. ad voc. Adirrj^os.) A hundred and fifty 
years afterwards we find the Cittasans again in revolt. They had renounced their 
allegiance to Elulaeus, king of Tyre, and were assisted in their struggle by Shalman- 
eser (Menand. ap. Joseph. A. J. ix. 14), or more probably Sargon, his successor, 
whose well-known inscription, found in Cyprus, probably commemorates this event. 
After the fall of the Assyrian empire, Phoenicia seems to have recovered her supre- 
macy, and thenceforth Cyprus followed her fortunes ; being now attacked by Amasis 
as a sequel to the Phoenician wars of his predecessor (supra, ch. 161 ; cp. Diod. Sic. 
i. 68). So, too, when Phoenicia submitted to Cambyses, Cyprus immediately follow- 
ed her example (infra, iii. 19). Concerning the Greek colonies in Cyprus, see note 
on Book v. ch. 104. 

6 Mr. Blakesley says (note ad loc): "It is impossible that Cyprus could have 
been reduced without a fleet, and Egypt did not possess one of her oivn." He then 
proceeds to speculate on the quarter whence an auxiliary naval force was at this 
time procured, and decides in favour of Samos. But Neco had made Egypt a naval 
power (supra, ch. 159), which she thenceforth continued to be. Under Apries she 
contended against Phoenicia (ch. 161), undoubtedly with her own ships, not with 
" some Hellenic auxiliary naval force," as Mr. Blakesley supposes. Her continued 
possession of a large navy after her conquest by the Persians is marked in vi. 6, 
where her vessels are engaged against the Ionians, and again in vii. 89, where she 
furnishes 200 triremes (the largest contingent, after that of Phoenicia) to the fleet 
of Xerxes. 



KIND."— Chap. 2. 

The Egyptians from Asia. Egyptian and Celtic. Semitic character of Egyptian. Evi- 
dences of an older language than Zend and Sanscrit. Ba or Pa, and Ma, primitive 
cries of infants, made into father and mother, m for b. Bek not to be pronounced 
by an untutored child. Bek, name of bread in Egypt. The story told to Herodotus. 
Claim of the Scythians to be an early race. 

If Egypt is not the oldest civilised nation of antiquity, it may vie with 
any other known in history ; and the records of its civilisation, left by 
the monuments, unquestionably date far before those of any other coun- 
try. But the inhabitants of the valley of the Nile were not the most 
ancient of mankind, they evidently derived their origin from Asia ; and 
the parent stock, from which they were a very early offset, claim a higher 
antiquity in the history of the human race. Their skull shows them to 
have been of the Caucasian stock, and distinct from the African tribes 
Westward of the Nile ; and they are evidently related to the oldest 
races of Central Asia. (See note 8 on ch, 15.) The Egyptian language 
might, from its grammar, appear to claim a Semitic origin, but it is not 
really one of that family, like the Arabic, Hebrew, and others ; nor is 
it one of the languages of the Sanscritic family, though it shows a prim- 
itive affinity to the Sanscrit in certain points ; and this has been accounted 
for by the Egyptians being an offset from the early "undivided Asiatic 
stock;" — a conclusion consistent with the fact of their language being 
" much less developed than the Semitic and Sanscritic, and yet admit- 
ting the principle of those inflexions and radical formations, which we 
find developed, sometimes in one, sometimes in the other, of those great 
families." Besides certain affinities with the Sanscrit, it has others 
with the Celtic, and the languages of Africa ; and Dr. Ch. Meyer thinks 
that Celtic "in all itsnon-Sanscritic features most strikingly corresponds 
with the old Egyptian." It is also the opinion of M. Miiller that the 
Egyptian bears an affinity " both to the Arian and Semitic dialects," 
from its having been an offset of the original Asiatic tongue, which was 
their common parent before this was broken up into the Turanian, Arian, 
and Semitic. 

In its grammatical construction, Egyptian has the greatest resem- 
blance to the Semitic; and if it has less of this character than the 


Hebrew, and other purely Semitic dialects, this is explained by the 
latter having been developed after the separation of the original tongue 
into Arian and Semitic, and by the Egyptian having retained a portion 
of both elements. There is, however, a possibility that the Egyptian 
may have been a compound language, formed from two or more after 
the first migration of the race ; and foreign elements may have been 
then added to it, as in the case of some other languages. 

It is also interesting to observe that while the Semitic languages 
are confined to the south-west part of Asia, including Mesopotamia, 
Syria, and Arabia, the same elements are met with in the languages of 

Though Zend and Sanscrit are the oldest languages of the Indo- 
European family, still these two are offsets of an older primitive one ; 
and among other evidences of this may be mentioned the changes that 
words had already undergone in Zend and Sanscrit from the original 
form they had in the parent tongue; as in the number " twenty," which 
being in the Zend " Visaiti" and in Sanscrit " Vimati" shows that they 
have thrown off the " d " of the original dva, " two,'"' of dvisaiti, and of 
dvinsati (as the Latin " viginti " is a corrupted form of " dviginti ") ; 
and this is the more remarkable as the original form is maintained in 
the " dvadeset," or " dvaes," of the Slavonic ; and " twice " in Sanscrit 
is avis. Another evidence is obtained from the Sanscrit verb asmi, " I 
am," where santi, " they are," is put for asanti, &c. 

The word " Bekos " is thought to be Phrygian ; and Strabo, fol- 
lowing Hipponax, says it was the Cyprian word for bread, (vii. p. 

Larcher remarks that deprived of its Greek termination, " os," and 
reduced to " Bek," it looks like an imitation of the bleating of the 
goats, which the children had been accustomed to hear ; but it might 
rather be considered one of the two primitive sounds (ba or pa, and ma) 
first uttered by infants, which have been the origin of the names of 
father and mother in the earliest offsets from the parent language of 
mankind : thus matar (Zend) ; matar (Sanscr.) ; mater (Lat.), and p^T^p 
(Gr.) ; muder (Germ.)] mator (Slav.); mam (Welsh)] urn (Ueb, and 
Arab.) ; amma (Tamil) ; erne " woman " (Mongol, whence the termi- 
nations of khanem and begum) ; ima " wife " ( Ostiak) ; ema " mother " 

(Finnish)] ema "female" (Magyar)] hime /j|/V\€ "wife," "wo- 
man," and mau (t-mau, mau-t), " mother " (Egyptian). 

The same with ab, or pa ; and though it has been observed that 
Greek and Sanscrit have the verbs of similar meaning 7raoo and /xaw, 
pa and ma ; and that irarrjp, ^yjrrjp, pitar, matar, are regularly formed ; 
the existence of the same roots in other languages claims for them a 
far earlier origin ; and they were borrowed from the first efforts of the 
infant's speech. 

It is remarkable that the two consonants which begin these sounds 
" ba" " ma" are commutable labials, " b " being frequently put for 
" m," in many languages ; as in ancient Egypt, chnubis for chnumis; 
Gemnoute changed into Sebennytus and Semenhoud ; the river Ba- 


gradas converted into Magradah ; the Mandela into Bardela, and many 
others; and the modern Greeks, who have no "b," are obliged to intro- 
duce an " m " before a kC p," to imitate the sound, — -fabrica being written 
by them phamprika. The natural sound, then, at the beginning of the 
word beh might have been pronounced by a child, but not the " k," 
unless instructed to make the necessary artificial effort; and one un- 
taught to speak would not have the power of uttering any but labial 
sounds. The fact, therefore, of the children not being able to go 
beyond " be," the beginning of the word, renders the story doubtful ; 
and still less can we believe that the Egyptians gave precedence to the 
Phrygians from the use of the word beh ; since their own word " oik," 
" ak," " cake," u bread," or w r ith the definite article poih (pronounced in 
Coptic layk, like our word " bake ") would be at once construed, by a 
people already convinced that they were the oldest of men, into a 
proof of their own claims ; for those cakes of bread were used by the 
Egyptians in all their offerings to the gods. The story, then, may be 
considered oue of the many current among the Greek ciceroni in Egypt, 
which were similar to those concocted at the present day in the " Frank 
quarter " of an eastern city; and we may acquit Psammetichus of igno- 
rance of his own, as well as of other, languages. 

And though Herodotus says he learnt the story itself from the 
priests of Memphis, it is evident that, being ignorant of the language, 
he was at the mercy of an interpreter. 

Justin (ii. 1) and Anmiianus Marcellinus (xxii. 15) also mention 
a question between the Egyptians and Scythians respecting their com- 
parative antiquity, which was considered with some show of reason to 
end in favour of the latter, as they inhabited those high lands of Cen- 
tral Asia, naturally the first freed from the water that once covered 
the earth, and therefore the first inhabited ; and the antiquity of the 
races of Central Asia is fully borne out by modern ethnological research- 
es ._[G. W.] 

Chap. II. 




YEAR."— Chap. 4. 

(See note 6 on Chap. 51, and helow, Appendix, Ch. vii.) 

The 12 months in Egypt. Years of 360, 3G5, and 365* days. The three seasons. Length 
of the year corrected. Sothic year. The year of 3G5 days. The dates of kings' 
reigns. The Square or Sothic year. The Lunar year. The Arab year. The Jewish 
year. Intercalation of the Egyptians and Greeks. 

Though Herodotus does not call the twelve portions, into which the 
Egyptian year was divided, months, it is certain that the original di- 
vision was taken as among most other people from the moon ; the 
hieroglyphic signifying " month " being the crescent. The Egyptians 
had three years : one unintercalated, of 360 days ; and two intercalated, 
respectively of 365 and 365^ days. They were divided into three 
seasons (" spring, summer, and winter," according to Diodorus, i. 11), 
each composed of four months of 30 days ; and in the two intercalated 
years five days were added at the end of the twelfth month, which com- 
pleted the 365 days ; the quarter day in the last of them being added 
every fourth year, as in our leap-year. 

The three seasons were thus represented with the four months be- 
longing to each : — 


mi * 




i * 

4. Choeak. 

3. Athor. 

2. Paopi. 

1. Thoth. 

mi x 

in * 


i * 


S. Pharmutbi. 

r. Pharnenoph. 

6. Mechir. 

5. Tobi 

, — mi. 

##$ /vwv\ 


I I I JK^ 

g3S„^ * 

12. Mesore. 



11. Epep. 

10. Paoni. 


The first season began with the month Thoth (the first day of 
which, in the time of Augustus, b. c. 24, coincided with the 29th 
August, o. s.), and was composed of the four months Thoth, Paopi, 
Athor, Choeak; the second of Tobi, Mechir, Phamenoth, Pharmuthi; 


the third of Pachons, Paoni, Epep, and Mesore ; at the end of which 
were added the five days of the intercalated year. The names of the 
seasons appear to be, 1st, of the plants ; 2nd, of flowering, or harvest, 
and 3rd, of the waters, or inundation ; which originally corresponded 
nearly to 1 , November, December, January and February ; 2 , March, 
April, May and June; 3°, July, August, September and October. 
But as, in course of time, the seasons changed, and those of summer 
fell in winter, they found it necessary to make another correction ; and 
for this purpose they resolved on ascertaining the period that elapsed 
between the return of a fixed star to the same place in the heavens, 
which they perceived would not be variable as were their conventional 
seasons. The heliacal rising of the dog-star, Sothis, was therefore the 
point fixed upon, and in 1460 Sothic (or 1461 of their vague) years, 
they found that it rose again heliacally, that their seasons had returned 
to their original places again, and that they had lost one whole year, 
according to the calculation of 365 days. This showed them that the 
difference of a quarter of a day annually required that one day every 
four years should be intercalated to complete the true year; and 
though they had already devised other means of fixing the return of a 
certain period of the year, this was the first nearly accurate determi- 
nation of its length. The period when they first began their observations, 
as well as that still more remote one when the first intercalated year 
of 365 days came into use, must have been long before the year 1322 
b. c. ; and an inscription (in the Turin Museum) of the time of Amu- 
nophl., the second king of the 18th dynasty, mentions the year of 365 
days. Lepsius and M. de Rouge have also shown that the five days 
w T ere already noticed in the 12th dynasty, and that the rite of Sothis 
was celebrated at the same period. The heliacal rising of Sothis was 
therefore ascertained long before the year 1322 ; and the reputed an- 
tiquity of the intercalary days is shown by their being ascribed, accord- 
ing to Strabo, to Hermes ; as well as by the fable of the five sons of 
Seb having been born on those days ; nor would the Egyptian kings 
have " sworn to retain the sacred year of 365 days without intercalating 
any day or month," unless the Sothic year had been already invented. 
Herodotus also says that they were indebted to the stars for their mode 
of adjusting the year and its seasons. But there is reason to believe 
that the still older year of 360 days was retained for the dates of kings' 
reigns ; and that this uniutercalated year of 360 days was the one used 
in their records and monumental stelae : thus, an Apis was born in the 
53rd year of Psammetichus I., the 19th Mechir, and died in the 16th 
year of Neco on the 6th Paopi, aged 16 years, 7 months, and 17 days. 
Now from 19 Mechir to 6 Paopi are 210 days -f 11 to the end of 
Mechir + 6 of Paopi = 227, or 7 months 17 days over the 16 years; 
without any intercalary 5 days. It is, however, possible that the 5 days 
were included in the last month of the year, and that it was a year of 
365 days ; but there is no mention of the 31st, or any other day beyond 
the 30th, of Mesore. 

The Sothic year of 365-]- days was called the square year, the annul 
quadratics of Pliny (ii. 47) ; and the same mentioned by Diodorus (i. 50), 


Macrobius (i. 16), and Horapollo. It appears to be represented in 

hieroglyphics by a square J instead of the sun If* of the two 

I 1 . 

vague years. The retention of the unintercalated and intercalated 
vague year would prevent the confusion which might have been ex- 
pected from the older and later chronological memoirs having been 
kept in years of a different reckoning ; for it was always easy to turn 
these last into Sothic years, when more accurate calculations were re- 
quired ; and this Sothic, or sidereal year, was reserved for particular 
occasions, as the old Coptic year is used by the modern Egyptians 
when they wish to fix any particular period, or to ascertain the proper 
season for agricultural purposes. 

The Egyptians had therefore an object in retaining the vague year, 
in order that the festivals of the gods, in course of time, might pass 
through the different seasons of the year, as Geminus the Rhodian (who 
lived in 77 b. c.) informs us. It is also evident, that without the accu- 
racy of the Sothic year they could not, as Herodotus supposes, have 
fixed the exact return of the seasons. 

We may conclude, that the Egyptians had at first a lunar year 
which being regulated by the moon, and divided into 12 moons, or 
months, led to a month being ever after represented in hieroglyphics by 
a moon ; but this would only have been at a most remote period before 
the establishment of the Egyptian monarchy ; and some might hence 
derive an argument in favour of the early use of hieroglyphics, and 
suppose that they were invented before the introduction of the solar 
months. In India also the lunar year was older than the solar. 

The lunar year still continues in use among the Arabs, and other 
Moslems, and the origin of a month has been the same in many coun- 
tries; but their year is only of 354 days. The Aztecs, again, had 
months of 13 days, of which 1461 made their cycle of 52 years, by 
which the supernumerary quarter day was accurately adjusted. But 
though the Arabs always used lunar months, it has been ascertained by 
Mr. Lane, and by M. Caussin de Perceval, that their years were inter- 
calated for about two centuries, until the 10th year of the Hegira, when 
the intercalation was discontinued by Mohammed's order ; so that the 
usual mode of adjusting Arab chronology with our own is not quite 

It is a singular fact, that Moses in describing the abatement of the 
waters of the Deluge, calculates five months at 150 days (Gen. viii. 3, 
4), or 30 days to a month, being the same as the unintercalated Egyp- 
tian year ; the lunar however was that first used by the Hebrews ; and, 
as in other languages, their name for the moon signified also a month. 
The lunar year of the Jews consisted of 12 months, which began (as 
with the Arabs) directly the new moon appeared; they varied in their 
length, and in order to rectify the loss of the 11 days, in the real length 
of the year, they added a thirteenth month every third, and sometimes 
every second year, to make up the deficiency, so that their months and 


festivals did not (like those of the Arabs) go through the various 
seasons of the year. 

Herodotus considers the intercalation of the Egyptians better than 
that of the Greeks, who added a month at the end of every 2nd year, 
making them alternately of 12 and 13 months. This indeed would 
cause an excess, which the omission of 1 month every 8th year by the 
Greeks would not rectify. (See Censorinus, de Die Nat. c. 18.) Hero- 
dotus calculates the Greek months at 30 days each, and the 12 months 
at 360 days, when he says seventy years, without including intercalary 
months, are 25,200 days, i e. 360 X 70, which, he adds, the 35 inter- 
calary months will increase by 1050 days (35 X 30), making a total of 
26,250 days for 70 years. This would be 375 days to the year. (See n. 2 , 
ch. 32, Bk. i.) On the Greek intercalation see Macrobius, Saturn, i. 1 4, 
who says the Greeks made their year of 354 days, and perceiving that 
11^ days were wanting to the true year, they added 90 days, or 3 months, 
every 8 years. Strabo (xvii. p. 554) says the Greeks were ignorant 
(of the true length) of the year until Eudoxus was in Egypt ; and 
this was in the late time of the 2nd Nectanebo, about b. c. 360 ; and 
Macrobius affirms that the Egyptians always possessed the true calcu- 
lation of the length of the year, — " anni certus modus apud solos 
semper iEgyptios fuit." (Saturn, i. 7.) He then mentions the primi- 
tive year among other people — as the Arcadians, who divided it into 
3 months ; other Greeks making it consist of 354 days (a lunar year) ; 
and the Romans under Romulus, who divided it into 10 months, be- 
ginning with March. — [G. W.] 




Chap. 4. 

Different orders of gods. The great gods of the first order. The second order. Place 
of Re, or the Sun. Classification of the gods. Sabaism not a part of the Egyptian 
religion. Pantheism. Name of Re, Phrah, and Pharaoh. Position of Re in the 
second order. Rank of Osiris. Children of Seb. The third order. The other 
most noted deities. Other gods. Foreign divinities. Chief god of a city and the 
triad. Deities multiplied to a great extent — the unity. Offices of the deity — char- 
acters of Jupiter. Resemblances of gods to be traced from one original. Subdi- 
vision of the deity — local gods. Personifications — Nature gods. Sacred trees and 
mountains. Common origin of religious systems. Greek philosophy. Creation 
and early state of the earth. 

It is evident that some gods held a higher rank throughout the country 
than others, and that many were of minor importance, while some were 
merely local divinities. But it is not certain that the great gods were 
limited to 8, or the 2nd rank to 12 ; there are also proofs of some, re- 
puted to belong to the 2nd and 3rd orders, holding a higher position 
than this gradation would sanction, and two of different orders are com- 
bined, or substituted for each other. It is not possible to arrange all 
the gods in the 3 orders as stated by Herodotus, nor can the 12 have 
been all born of the 8 ; there was however some distinction of the kind, 
the 8 agreeing with the 8 Cabiri (i. e. " great " gods) of the Phoenicians 
(see note 9 on ch. 51), and the others with the 12 gods of Olympus, and 
the Consentes of the Romans ; though it is uncertain how this arrange- 
ment applied to them. Those who have the best claim to a place 
among the 8 great gods are, — 1. Amun; 2. Maut ; 3. Noum, or Nou 
(Noub, Nef, Kneph) ; 4. Sate ; 5. Pthah ; 6. Neith ; 7. Khem ; 8. Pasht, 
who seems also to combine the character of Buto, under whose name 
she was worshipped at Bubastis. 

1. Amun, the great god of Thebes, " the King of the gods," an- 
swered to Jupiter ; 2. Maut, the " Mother " of all, or the maternal 
principle (probably the mot of Sanconiatho, see App. Book iii. Essay i. 
§ 3, 11), appears to be sometimes a character of Buto (Latona), pri- 
maeval darkness, from which sprang light ; 3. Noum, Nu, Nou (or Nou- 
bai ? called also Noub, Nef, Kneph, Cnuphis, and Chnubis,the ram-headed 
god), who was also considered to answer to Jupiter, as his companion 
(4.) Sate did to Juno, was the great god of the Cataracts, of Ethiopia, 
and of the Oases ; and in later temples, especially of Roman time, he 
often received the name of Amun : — the " contortis cornibus Amnion." 
(See notes on ch. 29, 42, Book ii., and on ch. 181, Book iv.) There is 
a striking resemblance between the Semitic Nef, " breath," and the 
Vol. II.— 16 

242 G0DS 0F THE FIRST ORDER. App. Book II. 

Coptic nibe, nifi, nouf, "spiritus;" and between the hieroglyphic num 
(with the article pnum), and the -wey/Aa, " spirit," which Diodorus says 
was the name of the Egyptian Jupiter. He was the " soul of the world " 
(comp. " mens agitat molem, et magno se corpore miscet "). The ram, 
his emblem, stands for bai " soul," and hence the Asp also received the 
name of Bait. The " K " of Kneph is evidently a corrupt addition, 
as Knoub for Noub ; the change of m and b in Noub is easily explained 
(see above, in ch. i. § 6) ; and the name " Noub " is perhaps connected 
with Nubia as well as with gold. The very general introduction of 
the ram's head on the prow of the sacred boats, or arks, of other gods, 
seems to point to the early and universal worship of this god, and to 
connect him, as his mysterious boat does, with the spirit that moved on 
the waters. He is said to be Agathodemon, and the Asp being his 
emblem, confirms this statement of Eusebius. 

5. Pthah was the creative power, the maker of all material things, 
" the father of the gods," and assimilated by the Greeks, through a 
gross notion of the A-^/uorpyog, or Opifex Mundi, to their Hephaestus 
(Vulcan). He was the god of Memphis. He had not so high a rank 
in Greece, nor in India, where Agni [ignis of Latin, ogan " fire " of Sla- 
vonic) was an inferior deity to Mahadeva, or Siva. 

6. JVeith, the goddess of Sais, answered to Athene or Minerva ; she 
was self-born, and apaevoS-qXvs, she therefore sometimes had the sceptre 
given to male deities. (See note a on ch. 62, Book ii.) 

7. Khem, the generative principle, and universal nature, was repre- 
sented as a phallic figure. He was the god of Coptos, the " Hav Oyftiov" 
and the Pan of Chemmis (Panopolis) — the Egyptian Pan, who, as 
Herodotus justly observes (ch. 145, Book ii.), was one of the 8 great 
gods. Of him is said in the hieroglyphic legend, " thy title is ' father 
of thine own father.' " (See notes 7 and 9 on ch. 42, and App. Book 
iii. Essay i. § 11.) 

8. Pasht, Bubastis, answered to Artemis, or Diana ; as at the Speos 

It is not easy to determine the 12 gods of the 2nd order ; and I 
only do this temporarily, as I have long since done in my Materia 
Hieroglyphica (p. 58) ; but I must not omit to state that they do not 
appear always to have been the same, and that the children of the 8 
great gods do not necessarily hold a place among those of the 2nd order. 
(For the form of those of the other gods, whose names are mentioned 
below, see At. Eg. "W., vol. v., Plates.) 

The 12 deities of the most importance after the 8, and who may 
have been those of the 2nd order, are : — 

1. Re y Ra, or Phrah, the Sun, the father of many deities, and com- 
bined with others of the 1st, 2nd, and even 3rd order. 

2. Seb, Chronos, or Saturn. He was also the earth. Being the 
father of Osiris, and other deities of the 3rd order, he was called 
" father of the gods." The goose was his emblem. (See note 9 ch. 72.) 

3. Netpe, Rhea, wife of Seb. She was the Vault of Heaven, and 
was called " mother of the gods." 

4. Khotis, the 3rd member of the Great Triad of Thebes, composed 

Chap. III. OTHER GODS. 243 

of Amun, Maut, and Khons their offspring. He is supposed to be a 
character of Hercules, and also of the Moon. In the Etymologicum 
Magnum, Hercules is called Chon. 

5. Attoidce, Estia, or Vesta, the 3rd member of the Great Triad of 
the Cataracts, composed of Noum (Nou), Sate, and Anouke. (See note 9 
on ch. 62.) Estia is Festia with the digamma. 

6. Atmou, Atmoo, Atum, or Attn, is " Darkness," the Sun after 
sunset (comp. Atmeh, " darkness," Arabic) sol inferus, and called Re- 
Atum. Mr. Birch thinks him the negative principle, tern signifying 
" not." 

7. Moid, apparently the same as Gom or Hercules, the splendour 
and light of the Sun, and therefore called a " son of Re." 

8. Tafne (Daphne), or Tafne-t, a lion-headed goddess, perhaps the 
same as Thriphis, who is with Khem at Athribis and Panopolis. 

9. Thoth, the intellect; Hermes or Mercury; the Moon (Lunus), 
a male god as in India ; and Time in the sense of passing period. 
Anubis is also Time, past and future. (Plutarch de Is. s. 44.) 

10. Savak, the crocodile-headed god, often called Savak-Re. 

11. Eileithjia, Ilithyia, or Lucina, Seben, Seneb, or Neben. 

12. Ma?idoo, Mandou, or Munt (Mars), quite distinct from Mandulis 
or Malouli of Kalabshi (Talmis), where both gods are represented. 
From him Hermonthis received its name. 

I had formerly placed Re among the 8 great gods, instead of Pasht, 
or Bubastis ; but the position she held as second member of the Great 
Triad of Memphis, gives her the same claim as Maut, the consort of 
Amun. I am much disposed to make a separate class of deities con- 
nected with Re ; who has a different name at his rising, at his meri- 
dian height, and at night. He is also the solar disc, and the shining 
sun or solar light (Ubn-re). The Sun-worshippers, or Stranger Kings 
of the 18th dynasty had a triad composed of Atin-re, Moid (solar splen- 
dour), and Re. Besides other characters, he is the soul of the world; 
his title Re is added to the names of other gods ; and several deities 
are sons and daughters of the Sun. In these offices they are distinct 
from the deified attributes of the ideal, or primary god, which are ne- 
cessarily of a different nature from the Sun-gods. There is at the same 
time a point of union between some of those attributes and certain 
characters of the Sun, or Re ; who is connected with many gods of the 
first, second, and third orders ; — Amun had the name Amun-Re ; Nou 
(or Noum) was Noum-Re, and even Atin-Re ; and the additional title 
of Re is also assigned to deities of the 2nd order, as to Savak, Mandou, 
and others. 

In giving three orders I have been guided by Herodotus, though it 
is evident the numerous gods of Egypt were not confined to that number. 
If such were the sole classification, the greater part of the deities would 
be altogether omitted; and it is impossible to make them accord with 
his orders, even if we allow many of them to be repetitions of the same 
god under other characters. For some were characters of the deities 
belonging to the 1st or 2nd orders ; but even then they were distinct, 
and members of some other group ; as all the attributes of the one god 


"became distinct deities. Nor can all those connected with the Sun be 
classified under one group. They may however claim a separate ar- 
rangement, like the Osiride family, which is supposed to form the 
third order ; and this distinct classification of Sun-gods might be used 
to explain the nature of several important members of the Egyptian 

Though actual Sabaism was not a part of the religion of the Egyp- 
tians, and the worship of the Sun and Moon was of a different kind, 
still it may have been connected with their earlier belief; which may 
be inferred from the idea of " prayer " being represented in hieroglyphics 
by a man holding up his hands, accompanied by a star. Tt is not im- 
possible that when they immigrated into the Valley of the Nile they may 
have brought with them that Asiatic superstition, combined with some 
purer notions which they had of the Deity ; 
NU' but afterwards having endeavoured to rec- 

^L *j oncile the notion of physical and material, 

gH&±J y Mkjfr w * tn *^eal anc ^ incorporeal gods, they aban- 

1 1 w< &f iR^ doned their earlier mode of worshipping the 

Jl fi ^ Sun and Moon. This last seems to accord 

i ^V h ■ w ^ t * ie * r re %i° n as we see ** on tne ^ r monu - 

£^3^ (LV- nients; where the Sun was chiefly looked 

1 2 upon as the visible representative of the gen- 

erative, or vivifying, principle of Nature. 
The disc of the Sun and the crescent of the Moon were placed as 
emblems on the heads of gods, and elsewhere ; as the name of Re (the 
" Sun ") was appended to their titles ; and these deities received a wor- 
ship, but it was not Sabaism, and no notice was taken of the stars as 
objects of adoration. And when some " Stranger Kings " from Asia 
re-introduced the worship of the real Sun's disc, the innovation was 
odious to the Egyptians, and was expelled for ever with the usurpers 
who had forcibly established it in the country. Macrobius, indeed, en- 
deavours to show that nearly all the gods corresponded to the Sun ; 
and Chaeremon thinks " the Egyptians had no gods but the Sun and 
planets ; and that all related to physical operations, having no reference 
to incorporeal and living essences " (Eus. Pr. Evang. iii. 4). But 
this correspondence was distinct from Sabaism ; and if many gods did 
" correspond to the sun," still the Sabiioth worship of the Sun and stars 
was not the religion of the Egyptians even in the earliest times of which 
any monuments remain. Many deities were characters of the Sun; 
and its daily course from its rising to its setting, and at different periods 
of the year (as well as certain phenomena — its supposed offspring), gave 
rise to beings who may be classed among Nature-gods ; as in the my- 
thology of India and Greece. 

The Egyptians, as they advanced in religious speculation, adopted a 
Pantheism, according to which (while the belief in one Supreme Being 
was taught to the initiated) the attributes of the Deity were separated 
under various heads, as the " Creator," the divine wisdom, the genera- 
tive, and other principles ; and even created things, which were thought to 
partake of the divine essence, were permitted to receive divine worship. 

Chap. III. RE— OSIRIS. 245 

The name of Re is remarkable for its resemblance to the owo, 
" light " of Coptic, and the^or of Hebrew (whence the Urim, " lights ") 
and to Horus, and Aroeris (Hor-oeri, " Horus the chief "), to har, 
" heat," to wpa, hora, " season " or " hour," as well as to the names of 
the Sun in several African dialects, as Airo, ayero, eer, uiro, ghurrah, 
and others. It is the same as " Phrah," or Pharaoh, the Egyptian 
Pi-Re, " the Sun," Memphitice Phra ; which was first suggested by the 
Duke of Northumberland and Colonel Felix. Re had different char- 
acters : as the rising Sun he was a form of Horus ; at midday Re ; and 
Ubn-re, '* the shining Sun ;" as the solar disc Atin-re ; when below the 
horizon Re-Atum, Atmou, or Atum, " darkness." 

I have stated the reasons for placing Pasht (Bubastis) among the 8 
great gods in preference to Re ; and it would not only be inconsistent 
to place the created in the same rank as the creator, but Re has Athor 
as the 2nd member of his principal triad, and is himself the second of 
a minor triad composed of Amun, Re, and Horus. Again, though Re 
is the father of many deities, he has no claim on this account ; since 
Nilus, and even Ape (Thebes), are called the " father " and " mother 
of the gods ;" Asclepius is a son of Pthah without being one of the 12 
gods ; and Nepthys is called daughter of Re in the same building 
where she is allowed to be the sister of Isis. These and similar rela- 
tionships therefore prove no more regarding the classification of the 
gods, than do the facts of Pthah being called " father of the gods " 
(while one only, Asclepius, is mentioned as his son), and of Re not 
being called by that title, though there are so many deities recorded 
in the sculptures as his children. And if Re was not one of the 8 
great gods, this does not necessarily place him in an inferior position, 
since Osiris, who was the greatest of all, and was with Isis worshipped 
throughout the country, belonged to the 3rd order. For Osiris had 
this honour from being the god whose mysteries contained the most 
important secrets ; his rites comprised the chief part of the Egyptian 
wisdom ; he was the chief of Amenti, or Hades, and he was a heavenly 
as well as an inferial deity. There was also an important reason for 
his being of the last, or newest order of gods ; he related particularly 
to man, the last and most perfect work of the creation ; and as the 
Deity was at first the Monad, then the Creator, (" creation being God 
passing into activity,") he did not become Osiris until man was placed 
upon the earth. He there manifested himself also (like Booddha) for 
the benefit of man, who looked to him for happiness in a future state. 
(See notes 2 ' 3 - 4 on ch. 171, Book ii.) 

It ought, however, to be observed, that the same god may belong 
to two different orders in two of his characters, and may be produced 
from different parents. Even Maut is once called " daughter of Re," 
and Re is said to be " engendered by Khem," as Khem was his own 
father ; and Minerva at Sais proclaimed that " she proceeded from 
herself." But these apparent inconsistencies are readily explained by 
the nature of the Egyptian mythological system. 

If it is necessary to confine the gods of the 3rd order to the children 
of Seb, a fourth and other orders might also be admitted (as I have 


already suggested in the " Materia Hieroglyphica ") ; for since those 
of the 2nd order are limited to twelve, it would be denying the accu- 
racy of Herodotus, without any authority from the monuments, to 
class any of the numerous deities that remain together with the twelve 
of the 2nd order. There are, however, some lists of Deities on the monu- 
ments, in which eight, or sometimes twelve, are thus arranged : 1. Man- 
dou, 2. Atmou, 3. Moui, 4. Tafne, 5. Seb, 6. Netpe, 7. Osiris, 8. Isis; 
or these eight with 9. Seth, 10. Nepthys, 11. Horus, and 12. Athor. 

The 3rd order contains the children of Seb and Netpe : — 1. Osiris. 
2. Aroeris, or the Elder Horus, " son of Netpe." 3. Seth (Typhon). 
4. Isis. 5. Nepthys (Neb-t-ei), " lady of the house," corresponding to 
Vesta in one character (see note 9 on ch. 62) ; but we may perhaps 
include in the same order the younger Horus, the son of Osiris and 
Isis ; as well as Harpocrates, their infant son, the emblem of child- 
hood ; and Anubis, the son of Osiris. The Younger Horus was the 
god of Victory and " the defender of his father ;" and in like manner 
the Greek Apollo, to whom he corresponded, was represented as a 
" youthful god." (Comp. Lucian de Dea Syr.) 

Of the remaining deities the most noted were : — 1. Thmei, Mei, or 
Ma, in her two capacities of Truth and Justice, Aletheia and Themis, 
called " Daughter of the Sun," sometimes represented without a head, 
and who ought, perhaps, to belong to the 2nd order of Deities. 2. Athor 
( ei-t-Hor, " Horus's mundane habitation ") Venus, often substituted 
for Isis, called u Daughter of the Sun," answering to the West, or the 
place where the setting Sun was received into her arms. (See note ' ch. 
44, note 6 ch. 122, Book ii., and App. Book iii .Essay i. § 16.) 3. Nofr- 
Atmou, perhaps a variation of Atmou. 4. Hor-Hat, frequently as the 
winged globe, one of the characters of the Sun, generally called Agatho- 
daemon. 5. Hacte (Hecate ?), a goddess with a lion's head. 6. Selk, 
with a scorpion on her head. 7. Tore, a god connected with Pthah. 
8. Amunta, perhaps a female Amun. 9. Tpe, " the heavens." 10. Hapi, 
or the god Nilus. 11. Ranno, the asp-headed goddess, perhaps a 
character of Agathodaemon (see Calmet, PI. 69). 12. Hermes Trisme- 
gistus, a form of Thoth. 13. Asclepius, Motph, or " Imoph," called 
" the son of Pthah," probably the origin of the Emeph of Iamblichus. 
14. Sofh, perhaps the goddess of Speech ; and about 50 more, some of 
whom were local divinities, as " the Land of Egypt;" " the East " and 
" the West" (bank); Ap, Ape, or Tape, "Thebes;" and the personifica- 
tions of other cities. 

There were also various forms of early gods, as frog-headed deities 
connected with Pthah ; and the offspring of local triads, as Pneb-to, 
Hor-pi-re, and other forms of the infant Horus ; the Apis, a form of 
Osiris, who was the Sarapis (*. e. Osir-Api) of Memphis, and other rep- 
resentations of well-known gods, together with minor divinities and 
genii : as Cerberus, the monster who guarded Amenti " the region of 
the dead ;" the 4 genii of Amenti, with the heads of a man, a cyno- 
cephalus, a jackal, and a hawk ; the 6 spirits with the heads of hawks 
and jackals ; the 12 hours of day and night ; the 42 assessors at the 
future judgment, each of whom presided over, or bore witness to a 


particular sin ; and the giant Apap (Aphophis) — " the great serpent,' 
and the emblem of wickedness. 

Many of the 50 gods above alluded to were certainly of late intro- 
duction ; but those whose names I have mentioned were of early date, 
as well as many of minor note ; and for the figures of all the gods I 
must refer to my Anct. Egyptians. Some of them are called children 
of the Sun. There were also a few foreign deities, as Ranpo, the god 
of battles, and the goddess of war, Anata or Anta (see Appendix of 
Book iii. Essay i. § 21), Astarte, and others, who were of early intro- 
duction ; but the character given to Seth, who was called Baal-Seth 
and the god of the Gentiles, is explained by his being the cause of evil. 
(See note 3 on ch. 171.) The introduction of foreign gods finds a 
parallel among other people of antiquity, whose readiness to adopt a god 
from another religion is one of the peculiarities of Polytheism ; and the 
complacency of the Romans on this point is well known. 

In each city of Egypt one deity was the chief object of worship ; 
he was the guardian of the place, and he had the most conspicuous post 
in the adytum of its temple. The town had also its particular triad, 
composed of 3 members, the third proceeding from the other two ; and 
the principal cities of Egypt, as Thebes and Memphis, had two of the 
great gods as the first members of their triads. They might be gods of 
any order, and the 2 first members not necessarily of the first rank ; 
for one of the 1st, or of the 2nd order, might be combined even with a 
local deity to produce the 3d of still inferior rank in the divine scale ; 
and these in latter times became multiplied and brought down to a 
very low order of beings, the divine essence being thought to pervade 
in a greater or less degree all the creations of the deity. It was merely 
the extension of the same idea ; as an instance of which the great divine 
wisdom might combine with the genius of a city to produce a king. 
And to show how the divine and human natures of a king were thought 
to be distinct, he was often represented offering to himself in the Egyp- 
tian sculptures, his human doing homage to his divine character. 

With such views it is not surprising that the Egyptians multiplied 
their deities to an endless extent ; and plants, and even stones were 
thought to partake in some degree of the divine nature ; but the notion 
that Egyptian gods were represented as animals and not under the 
human form is quite erroneous, the latter being by far the most usual. 
Originally, indeed, they had the Unity, worshipped under a particular 
character ; which was the case in other countries also, each considering 
him their protector, and giving him a peculiar form and name, though 
really the same one god ; and it was only when forsaken by him that 
they supposed their enemies were permitted to triumph over them. 
(Comp. also Josephus, Antiq. viii. 10. 3, of the Jews and Shishak.) 
But it was not long before they subdivided the one god, and made his 
attributes into different deities. In like manner the Hindoos have one 
supreme Being, Brahme (neuter), the great one, who, when he creates, 
becomes Brahma (masculine) ; when he manifests himself by the opera- 
tion of his divine spirit, becomes Vishnu, the pervader, or Narayan, 
" moving on the waters," called also the first male ; when he destroys, 


becomes Siva, or Mahadiva, u Great god ;" and as Brahma, Vishnu, 
and Siva, is the Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer, which last answers 
to the regenerator of what only changes its form ; and reproduces what 
he destroys. (See Sir W. Jones, vol. i. p. 249 ; and Asiat. Res. vol. 
vii. p. 280 ; and my note 9 on ch. 123, Book ii.) 

The same original belief in one god may be observed in Greek my- 
thology ; and this accordance of early traditions agrees with the Indian 
notion that " truth was originally deposited with men, but gradually 
slumbered and was forgotten ; the knowledge of it however returning 
like a recollection." For in Greece, Zeus was also universal, and om- 
nipotent, the one god, containing all within himself; and he was the 
Monad, the beginning and end of all. (Somn. Scip. c. 6 ; Aristot. de 
Mund. 7.) 

Zet/s KtcpaAr)' Zeus picoo, Aios S'e'/c irdvTaTeTVKTai. (line 2.) 
A Ev Kparos, els Aa.iiJ.wv yevero, jxiyas dpxos airavTuv. (line 8.) 
TldvTa. yap eV fx-eydXcp Zr)vb<> ra5e awjxari Kelrai. (line 12.) 

Orphic Fragra. 

Zeus i(TTiv ai&T]p, Zeus 8e yrj, Zeus 8' ovpavos' 

Zeus rot Ta irdvra. — iEsch. Fragm. 295. 

(Comp. Clemens Strom, v. p. 603.) 

At the same time each of the various offices of the Deity was known 
under its peculiar title. (See note A. in App. to Book i.) Jupiter 
was also prefixed to the names of foreign gods, as Jupiter- Amnion, Ju- 
piter-Sarapis, Jupiter-Baal-Markos, and many others ; and though the 
Sun had its special Deity, altars were raised to Jupiter-the-Sun. He 
was also the manifestation of the Deity, like Osiris, who was the son of 
Seb, the Saturn of the Egyptians. Thus Osiris, Amun, and Noum, 
though so unlike, were each supposed by the Greeks to answer to Ju- 
piter. Hesiod, too, calls Jupiter the youngest of the gods ; as Osiris 
was in the third order of Deities, though the greatest of all ; and the 
correspondence was completed by both being thought to have died. 
This notion, common to Egypt, Syria, and Crete, as to the Booddhists, 
and other people, is one of many instances of the occurrence of similar 
religious views in different countries (see notes ' 2,z ' ch. 171); but there 
is also evidence of the Greeks having borrowed much from Egypt in 
their early mythology, as well as in later times, after their religion had 
long been formed ; and the worship of Isis spread from Egypt to Greece 
and its islands, as it afterwards did to Rome. But the corrupt prac- 
tices introduced at Alexandria, and more especially at Canopus, and 
thence carried to Europe, were no part of the Egyptian religion ; they 
proceeded from the gross views taken, through ignorance, of certain 
allegorical representations, and were quite opposed, in their sensual and 
material character, to the simple expression of the hieroglyphical mind 
of Egypt. 

It is easy to perceive in all the religions of antiquity why so many 
divinities resemble each other, why they differ in some points, and how 
they may be traced to one original ; while others, being merely local, 
have a totally different character. Though they began by subdividing 
the one Deity, they .subsequently laboured to show that all the gods were 


one ; and this last, which was one of the great mysteries of Egypt, was 
much insisted upon by the philosophers of Greece. Even the names of 
some Deities show they came from one and the same, as Zeus-Dios, Dis, 
lav, Jovi, Dius-piter, Dies-piter, Jupiter, (Iapeter?), Iacchus, and Ja- 
nus, who was said to be a character of Apollo, as Jana was Diana (Mac- 
rob. Saturn, i. 5), corresponding to Phoebus and Phoebe ; and Macrobius 
not only identifies most of the gods with the Sun, but makes Apollo and 
Bacchus, though so very dissimilar, the same (Saturn, i. 20). Again, 
the Olympian, or heavenly, and the inferial gods were essentially the 
same ; Pluto was only a character of Jupiter ; and Ceres and Bacchus 
belonged to both classes, in which they resembled Isis and Osiris. The 
same notion led to the belief in a Sol inferus — a deity particularly 
Egyptian, and connected with the Sun-gods. 

The Deity once divided, there was no limit to the number of his 
attributes of various kinds and of different grades ; and in Egypt every- 
thing that partook of the divine essence became a god. Emblems were 
added to the catalogue ; and though not really deities, they called forth 
feelings of respect, which the ignorant would not readily distinguish 
from actual worship. The Greeks, too, besides the greater gods, gave 
a presiding spirit to almost every part of visible Nature ; trees of va- 
rious kinds had their dryads, hama-dryads, and other nymphs ; rivers, 
lakes, marshes, and wells had their Naiads, as plains, mountains, caves, 
and the like, had their presiding spirits ; and each a genius loci " of 
later times varied with the place. These were mere personifications, — 
an inferior grade of Nature-gods, — who had no mysteries, and could not 
be identified with the one original Deity, as the local divinities of Egyp- 
tian towns were different from those who held a rank in the first, second, 
and third orders of gods. 

Tree-worship, and the respect for holy mountains, were African as 
well as Egyptian superstitions ; and they extended also to Asia. 

Besides the evidence of a common origin, from the analogies in the 
Egyptian, Indian, Greek, and other systems, we perceive that my- 
thology had advanced to a certain point before the early migrations 
took place from central Asia. And if in aftertimes each introduced 
local changes, they often borrowed so largely from their neighbours, 
that a strong resemblance was maintained ; and hence the religions re- 
sembled each other, partly from having a common origin, partly from 
direct imitation, and partly from adaptation ; which last continued to a 
late period. 

The philosophical view taken by the Greeks of the nature of the 
Deity was also different from their mythological system ; and that fol- 
lowed by Thales and others was rather metaphysical than religious. 
Directly they began to adopt the inquiry into the nature of the Deity, 
they admitted that he must be One and Supreme; and he received 
whatever name appeared to convey the clearest notion of the First 
Principle. How far any of their notions, or at least the inquiry that 
led to them, may be traced to an acquaintance with Egyptian speculation, 
it is difficult to determine ; Thales, and many more philosophers, studied 
in Egypt, and must have begun, or have sought to promote, their in 


quiry during their visit to the learned people of that age ; and in justice 
to them we must admit that they went to study there for some purpose. 
At all events their early thoughts could not hut have been greatly in- 
fluenced by an intercourse with Egypt, though many a succeeding phil- 
osopher suggested some new view of the First Cause ; speculation taking 
a varied range, and often returning under different names to a similar 
conclusion. Still, many early Greek philosophers admitted not only 
an ideal deity as a first cause, a divine intelligence, the " holy infinite 
spirit " of Empedocles, or other notions of the One ; but, like Alcrnaeon 
of Crotona (according to some a pupil of Pythagoras, according to others 
of the Ionian school), "attributed a divinity to the sun and stars as well 
as to the mind " (Cic. Nat. Deor. i.). Plato, too, besides the incorpo- 
real God, admits " the heavens, stars, and earth, the mind, and those 
gods handed down from our ancestors " to be the Deity; and Chrysip- 
pus, called by Cicero (Nat. Deor. i. and iii.) the most subtle of the 
Stoics, extended the divine catalogue still farther ; which recalls the 
Egyptian system of a metaphysical and a mysterious view of the divine 
nature, and at the same time the admission of a worship of the Sun. 
(See note 6 on chap. 51, and note on ch. 123, B. ii.) 

Of the Egyptian theory of the creation some notion may perhaps be 
obtained from the account given in Ovid (Met. i. and xxv.) borrowed 
from the Pythagoreans ; as of their belief in the destruction of the earth 
by fire, adopted by the Stoics. (Ovid. Met. i. 256 ; Senecca, Nat. 
Qurest. iii. 13 and 28 ; Plut. de Placit. Phil iv. 7.) They even thought 
it had been subject to several catastrophes, " not to one deluge only, 
but to many;" and believed in a variety of destructions " that have 
been, and again will be, the greatest of these arising from fire and water " 
(Plat. Tim. pp. 466, 467). The idea that the world had successive 
creations and destructions is also expressly stated in the Indian Manu. 

But though some subjects seem to point to the creation, in the tombs 
of the kings, perhaps also to the destruction (as well as to man's future 
punishment) of the world by fire, there are few direct indications of its 
creation beyond some mysterious allusions to the agency of Pthah (the 
creator), or the representation of Noum (Nef), the divine spirit passing 
in his boat " on the waters," or fashioning the clay on a potter's wheel. 
This last is also done by Pthah, which seems to correspond with the 
doctrine of Empedocles, as well as with the notion expressed in Genesis 
that the matter already existed " without form and void " (tohoo oo bohoo) ; 
and not that it was then for the first time called into existence. For, 
(as Mr. Stuart Poole has observed) the same expression, tohoo oo bohoo, 
is used in Jeremiah (iv. 23), where the land " without form and void " 
was only " desolate," not destroyed nor brought " to a full end " (v. 27), 
but depopulated and deprived of light. (Cp. Ps. civ. 30.) 

They probably had a notion of the indefinite period that intervened 
between "the beginning" and the creation of man, which is in accord- 
ance with the Bible account, as St. Gregory Nazianzeu and others have 
supposed, and which seems to be pointed out by the Hebrew text, where 
in the two first verses the past tense of the verbs (" God created " (bard) 
and " the earth was without form ") is used ; while in the 3rd, and some 


other verses, we have iamer (" says "), and ibra (" creates ") ; for though 
these have a past sense, that construction is not a necessary one, and the 
verb might have been placed after, instead of before, the noun, as in the 
2nd verse. The creation of plants before animals, as in " the third day M 
of Genesis, was also an ancient, perhaps an Egyptian, belief; and " Em- 
pedocles says the first of all living things were trees, that sprang from 
the earth before the sun expanded itself." (Comp. Plut. de Plac. Phil. 
v. c. 26.) The tradition among the Hebrews of the world having been 
created in autumn was borrowed from Egypt, to which climate only (as 
Miss F. Corbaux has shown) the idea that autumn was the period of 
the world's creation, or renewal, would apply. — [Q-. W.] 



"WHEN MCERIS WAS KING," &c— Chap. 13. 

Rise of the Nile 16 cubits. Differed in different parts of Egypt. Oldest Nilometer. 
The lowering of the Nile in Ethiopia by the giving way of the rocks at Silsilis. 
Ethiopia affected by it, but not Egypt below Silsilis. Other Nilometers and 
measurements. Length of the Egyptian cubit. 

" When Maris ivas king" says Herodotus, " the Nile overflowed all Egypt 
below Memphis, as soon as it rose so little as 8 cubits" and this, he adds, 
was not 900 years before his visit, when it required 15 or 16 cubits to 
inundate the country. But the 16 figures of children (or cubits, Lucian. 
Rhet. Prsec. sec. 6) on the statue of the Nile at Rome show that it rose 
16 cubits in the time of the Roman Empire ; in 1720 sixteen cubits were 
still cited as the requisite height for irrigating the land about Memphis ; 
and the same has continued to be the rise of the river at old Cairo to 
this day. For the proportion is always kept up by the bed of the river 
rising in an equal ratio with the land it irrigates, and the notion of 
Savary and others that the Nile no longer floods the Delta, is proved 
by experience to be quite erroneous. This also dispels the gloomy 
prognostications of Herodotus that the Nile will at some time cease to 
inundate the land. 

The Mekeeas pillar at old Cairo, it is true, is calculated to contain 
24 cubits, but this number merely implies " completion," and it has 
been ascertained by M. Coste that the 24 Cairene cubits arc only equal 
to about 16 or 16^ real cubits. The height of the inundation varies of 
course, as it always did, in different parts of Egypt, being about 40 
feet at Asouan, 36 at Thebes, 25 at Cairo, and 4 at the Rosetta and 
Damietta mouths; and Plutarch gives 28 cubits as the highest rise at 
Elephantine, 15 at Memphis, and 7 at Xois and Mendes, in the Delta 
(de Isid. s. 43). The Nilometer at Elephantine is the one seen by 
Strabo, and used under the Empire, as the rise of the Nile is recorded 
there in the 35th year of Augustus, and in the reigns of other Emperors. 
The highest remaining scale is 27 cubits ; but it has no record of the 
inundation at that height, though Plutarch speaks of 28 ; and the high- 
est recorded there is of 26 cubits, 4 palms, and 1 digit. This, at the 
ratio stated by Plutarch, would give little more than 14 at Memphis ; 
but Pliny (v. 9) says the proper rise of the Nile is 16 cubits, and the 
highest known was of 18 in the reign of Claudius, which was extraor- 
dinary and calamitous. Ammianus Marcellinus (22), in the time of 
Julian, also says, " no landed proprietor wishes for more than 16 
cubits." The same is stated by El Edrisi and other Arab writers. 


(See Mem. de l'Acad., vol. xvi. p. 333 to 377, M. Eg. W., p. 279 to 
284; and At. Eg. W., vol. iv. p. 27 to 31). The great staircase of 
Elephantine extends far above the highest scale, and measures 59 feet, 
and with the 9 steps of the lower one, the total from the base is nearly 
69 feet, while the total of the scales that remain measures only about 
21 feet ; but the cubits, 27 (ke) marked on the highest, answer to a 
height of 46 ft. lOf in., which shows that this was reckoned from a lower 
level than the base of the lowest staircase. 

From all that has been said it is evident that the change from the 
time of Mceris to Herodotus could not have been what he supposes ; 
and that the full rise of the Nile about Memphis was always reckoned 
at 16 cubits. The 8 cubits in the time of Mceris were either calculated 
from a different level, or were the rise of the river at some place in the 
Delta far below Memphis. 

The oldest Nilometer, according to Diodorus, was erected at Mem- 
phis ; and on the rocks at Semneh, above the second cataract, are some 
curious records of the rise of the Nile during the reigns of Amun-m-he 
III. and other kings of the 12th dynasty, which show that the river 
does not now rise there within 26 feet of the height indicated in those 
inscriptions. But this was only a local change, confined to Ethiopia, 
and the small tract between the first cataract and Silsilis ; and it was 
owing to a giving way of the rocks at Silsilis, which till then had kept 
up the water of the Nile to a much higher level south of that point. 
For though the plains of Ethiopia were left without the benefit of the 
annual inundation, no effect was produced by it in Egypt north of Sil- 
silis, except the passing injury done to the land just below that place 
by the sudden rush of water at the moment the barrier was burst 
through. The channel is still very narrow there, being only 1095 feet 
broad, and tradition pretends that the navigation was in old times im- 
peded by a chain thrown across it by a king of the country, from which 
the name of Silsil is thought to be derived. But though silsili signifies 
a " chain " in Arabic, the name of Silsilis was known long before the 
Arabs occupied Egypt ; and it is not impossible that its Coptic appel- 
lation, Golgel, may have been borrowed from the catastrophe that oc- 
curred there, and point to an earthquake as its cause ; or from a similar 
word, Golgol, alluding apparently to the many channels worn by the 
cataracts there, or to the breaking away of the rocks at the time of the 
fall of the barrier. 

The change in the level of the Nile was disastrous for Ethiopia, 
since it left the plains of that hitherto well-irrigated country far above 
the reach of the annual inundation ; and, as it is shown, by the position 
of caves in the rocks near the Nile, and by the foundation of buildings 
on the deposit, to have happened only a short time before the accession 
of the 18th dynasty, it is singular that no mention should have been 
made of so remarkable an occurrence either by Manetho or any other 
historian. The narrow strip of land in Nubia and Southern Ethiopia, 
as well as the broad plains of Dongola, and even some valleys at the 
edge of the eastern desert, are covered with this ancient deposit ; I have 
seen water-worn rocks that prove the former extent of the annual inun- 


dation in spots often very distant from the banks ; and even now thia 
soil is capable of cultivation if watered by artificial irrigation. Though 
this change did not affect Egypt below Silsilis, it is not impossible that 
the measurements of Moeris may apply to other observations made in 
his reign in Egypt also ; and the discovery of the name of Amun-m-he 
III. at the Labyrinth by Dr. Lepsius, shows that this was at least one 
of the kings to whom the name of Moeris was ascribed. (See note 6 on 
ch. 13, B. ii.) Other measurements are mentioned at different times 
besides those under Moeris and in the days of Herodotus. A Kilometer 
stood at Eileithyias in the age of the Ptolemies; there was one at Mem- 
phis, the site of which is still pointed out by tradition ; that of Elephan- 
tine remains with its scales and inscriptions recording the rise of the 
Nile in the reigns of the Roman Emperors ; a moveable one was pre- 
served in the temple of Sarapis at Alexandria till the time of Constan- 
tine, and was afterwards transferred to a Christian church ; the Arabs 
in 700 a. d. erected one at Helwan, which gave place to that made, 
about 715, by the caliph Suleyman in the Isle of Roda, and this again 
was succeeded by the " Mekeeas " of Mamoon, a. d. 815, finished in 
860 by Motawukkel-al- Allah, which has continued to be the government 
Nilometer to the present day. 

The length of the ancient Egyptian cubit and its parts may be stat- 
ed as follows : — 

Of the Nilometer Of Memphis, 

of Elephantine. according to Jomard. 

1 digit or dactylus . = English inches 0-7366 . 0*73115 

4 " 1 palm . . = " 2-9464 . 2-9247 

28 ■• 7 ■• 1 cubit = " 20-6250 . 20-47291 

The lengths of different Egyptian cubits are : — 

Millimetres. Eng. inches. 

The cubit in the Turin Museum, according to my 

measurement 5227io or 20-5730 

The same, according to Jomard . . . 5227io or 20-5786 

Another 523 or 20-6180 

Another 524 or 20*6584 

Jomard's cubit of Memphis, mentioned above . 520 or 20-4729 

Cubit of Elephantine Nilometer, according to Jomard 527 or 20*7484 

The same, according to my measurement .... 20*6250 

Part of a cubit found by me on a stone at Asouan . about 21*0000 

The cubit, according to Mr.Perring's calculation, at the Pyramids, do. 20-6280(?) 

Mr. Harris' cubit from Thebes 20*6500 

From all which it is evident that they are the same measure, and not 
two different cubits ; and there is nothing to show that the Egyptians 
used cubits of 24, 28, and 32 digits. 1 — [G. W.] 

J See Ancient Egyptians, W., vol. iv. p. 31. 




Hieratic and Demotic, the two sorts of letters written from right to left. Hieroglyphics. 
Three kinds of writing. Hieratic. Demotic, or enchorial. The three characters. 
First use of demotic. Of symbolic hieroglyphics : The ikonographic. The tropical. 
The enigmatic. Symbolic also put with phonetic hieroglyphics. Determinatives 
after the word, or name of an object. Initial letters for the whole words, to be called 
limited initial signs. Distinct from other " mixed signs." Syllabic signs. Medial 
vowel placed at the end of a word. Earliest use of hieroglyphics. Mode of placing 
hieroglyphics. First letter of a word taken as a character. Determinative signs. 
They "began with representative signs. The plural number. Abstract ideas. Pho- 
netic system found necessary. Some parts of the verb. Negative sign. Invention 
of the real alphabetic writing Phoenician. Greek letters. Digamma originally 
written. Sinaitic inscriptions not of the Israelites. Tau used for the cross. Mate- 
rials used for writing upon. The papyrus. 

These two kinds of writing, written, as he says, from right to left, 
evidently apply to the hieratic and demotic (or enchorial) ; for though 
the hieratic was derived from an abbreviated mode of writing hieroglyph- 
ics, it was a different character ; as the demotic was distinct from the 
hieroglyphic and the hieratic. The same is stated by Diodorus (i. 81), 
who says " the children of the priests were taught two different kinds of 
writing ;".... " but the generality of the people learn only from their 
parents, or relations, what is required for the exercise of their peculiar 
professions, a few only being taught anything of literature, and those 
principally the better class of artificers." Herodotus and Diodorus con- 
sider the hieroglyphics merely monumental ; but they were not confined 
to monuments, nor to sacred purposes. Clemens (Strom, v. p. 555) more 
correctly reckons three kinds of writing : 1, the epistolographic ; 2, the 
hieratic, or sacerdotal ; 3, the hieroglyphic, which was an ordinary 
written character like the other two ; and originally the only one. He 
then divides the hieroglyphic into, 1, hyriologic (directly expressed by 
the first letter or initial of the name of the hieroglyphic object), and 2, 
symbolic, which was either directly expressed by imitation, or written by 
tropes, or altogether allegoricaUy by certain enigmas. As an example of 
the kyriologic, he says they make a circle to represent the " sun," and 
"a crescent for the moon," " according to their direct form;" in the 
tropical method they substitute one thing for another which has a cer- 
tain resemblance to it. It is therefore suited to express the praises of 
their kings in theological myths. Of the third or enigmatic an example 
may be given in their representing the planets from their motion by 
serpents, and the sun by a beetle (or more properly by a hawk). 
The scheme of Clemens may be thus represented : — 


Egyptian writing. 
Epistolographic. Hieroglyphic. 

Kyriologic (phonetic, by the initial letters). Symbolic. 

By direct imitation, or representation By Tropes, or anaglypbic. Allegoric, 

ikonographic, or ideographic. Enigmatic, or 


The hieratic, which was derived from the hieroglyphic, was invented 
at least as early as the 9th dynasty, and fell into disuse when the dem- 
otic had been introduced. It consisted of phonetic, and also of sym- 
bolic signs. It was written from right to left, and was the character 
used by the priests and sacred scribes, whence its name. 

The demotic or enchorial, the epistolographic of Clemens, was a sim- 
plified form of the hieratic, and a nearer approach towards the alphabetic 
system ; though we find in it syllabic and some ikonographic or ideo- 
graphic signs, as the palm-branch and sun for " a year," with others 
(see the following woodcut, which reads " the year 6, the month Mes- 
ore, the 20th day," or " the 6th year, the 20th day of the fourth month 
of the waters, of King Ptolemy ") ; and the several characters still 
amounted, according to Brugsch, to 275, including ligatures, and nume- 
rals, or perhaps even exceeded that number. Plutarch is therefore 
wrong in limiting the number of letters in the Egyptian alphabet to 
twenty-five (de Is. s. 56). One great peculiarity pointed out by Brugsch 
is that demotic was used for the vulgar dialect, and is therefore more 
correctly called demotic than enchorial ; but it was also used in historical 
papyri. It was also invariably written, like the hieratic, from right to 

The form of the hieroglyphic, the hieratic, and the demotic, differed 
more in some characters than in others, as may be seen in the woodcut ; 
where the transition from the first (sometimes through the second) to the 


demotic may be perceived. It is not quite certain when the demotic first 
came into use, but it was at least as early as the reign of Psammetichus 
II., of the 26th dynasty; and it had therefore long been employed when 
Herodotus visited Egypt. Soon after its invention it was adopted for 
all ordinary purposes ; it was taught as part of an Egyptian education ; 
and after it, according to Clemens, they learnt the hieratic, and lastly 
the hieroglyphic. But this gradation, if ever observed, could only have 
been in later times ; for in the early period, before the epistolographic, 
or demotic, was invented, the educated Egyptians must either have 
learnt the hieroglyphic, or the hieratic character, or have been left 
without any knowledge of reading and writing, which would have been 


tantamount to no education at all ; whereas we know on the contrary 
that hieroglyphics were commonly understood by all educated persons. 
Many too learnt hieroglyphics to whom the hieratic was not taught ; nor 
could the hieroglyphic have been at any time the last they learnt, since 
the invention of the hieratic was intended to enable the priests to 
possess a written character not generally known to the rest of the 

In symbolic hieroglyphics, 1. The ikonographic, representational, or 
imitative hieroglyphics, are those that present the object itself, as the 

sun's disc, to signify the u sun " @ ; the crescent d to signify the 

a male and female figure apply to man and woman when separate, and 

signify mankind when together, as in this group ^yp *|j , with or 


without the word " rot " (" mankind "). 

2. The tropical hieroglyphics substitute one object for another, to 

which it bears an analogy, as heaven and a star V1L " for " night ;" a leg 

in a trap r-J— ■ for " deceit;" a pen and inkstand (or writer's palette) nQ| 

for "writing" " to write" or a " scribe; " and a man breaking his own head 
with an axe, or a club, for the " wicked" — suicide being considered the 
most wicked action of a man. Again, the sun is put for a " day ; " and 

the moon for a " month ; " a youth with his finger to his mouth jH 

for a "child;" a man armed with bow and quiver, & "soldier" (Mp . 
a man pouring out a libation from a vase, or merely the vase itself 
/^ I ? a "priest ;" a man with his hands bound behind his back, 
" a captive " JfL ; the ground-plan of a house, a " temple" or a "house," £-j . 

as a valve signified a " door;" the firmament, or the ceiling of a room, stud- 
ded with stars, " the heaven " paaasg ; and a man raising his hand, and 
calling to another, was the exclamation " oh," and the vocative " " (be- 
low, p. 264). An egg signified a " child," or " son ;" a face " before," 
or a " chief; " and a lion's fore-part " the beginning," and the hind- 
quarter " the end," as in this sentence Z=T /^Z=r *» r A " In the 
beginning of the year, (and) in the ~M f |©JkJ^<sf@ end of 
the year." 

3. The enigmatic put an emblematic figure, or object, in lieu of the one 

intended to be represented, as a hawk for the " sun " fi ; a seated.figure 
Vol. II. — 17 

258 THE ENIGMATIC. App. Book II. 

with a curved heard «J| for a " god." It is sometimes difficult to distin- 
guish between tropical and enigmatic hieroglyphics ; as when the two 
water-plants I are put for the " upper and lower country" being 

emblems of the two districts where they principally grew, Upper and 
Lower Egypt. But it will be evident that the tropical is the nearest 
of the three to the phonetic, in compass, and power of expression, from 
its being able more readily to express abstract ideas and facts. 

These three kinds of what Clemens calls symbolic (or more properly 
figure-hieroglyphics, in contradistinction to kyriologic, phonetic, or letter- 
hieroglyphics) , were either used alone, or in company with the phonetically- 
written word they represented. Thus, 1. the word Re, " sun," might 
be written in letters only, or be also followed by the ikonograph the 
solar disc (which if alone would still have the same meaning Re, " sun ") ; 
and as we might write the word " horse," and place after it a figure of 
that animal, they did the same after their word Mr, or hthor " horse " 

I <^> ''^u^X * ^° to ° *^ e wor( * " moon j" Aah, or Ioh, was followed by 

,l4j^and ro* ^J 

the crescent, gHH^^ and rot ^^k j " mankind" by the figure of a man 

and woman. Again, a man in the action of beating was placed either alone, 
or after the verb to beat " hei," to have that meaning. In these cases 
the sign so following the phonetic word has been called a determinative, 
from its serving to determine the meaning of what preceded it. 2. In 
the same manner the tropical hieroglyphics might be alone, or in com- 
pany with the word written phonetically ; and the expression " to 
write," skhai, might be followed, or not, by its tropical hieroglyphic, 
the " pen and inkstand " as its determinative sign ; as the man killing 
himself might be preceded by the word sheft, " wicked." 3. The em- 
blematic figure — a hawk signifying the " sun " — might also be alone, or 
after the name " Re " written phonetically, as a determinative sign ; and 
as a general rule the determinative followed, instead of preceding the 
names, in which it differed from the Chinese and Assyrian systems. 
Determinatives are therefore of three kinds, — ikonographic, tropical, and 

This union of both phonetic and symbolic hieroglyphics is commonly 
adopted, and may be considered the remains of the original pictorial 
writing combined with the phonetic system. 

Some hieroglyphics again are used as pure ikonographs, and pho- 
netically also ; as the plan of a house, which with a line added to it 
answers for the letter e, in ei L J I " house," though alone it also re- 
presented a " house," or " abode." 

Some which are tropical when alone are phonetic in combination, 
as the sign for " gold " noub also stands for the letter n. 

Some too, which are emblematic, are phonetic in words, as the 

Chap. V. VOWELS. 259 

crocodile's tail, the symbol of " Egypt," when combined with an owl 
' »*," answers to " Teh " of the word kkemi " Egypt," as well as of hhame 
or hame " black." In these cases they are the initial letters of the 
words they represent ; so the guitar (or nail) signifies " good" whether 

standing alone J , or as the initial of the word nofr " good " I ; 

and the tau, or crux ansata, signifies " life " (or " living "), whether it 

stands alone Hr or as the initial of the word written phonetically in 

full nr i ^ A * onkh, or anJch. But these are only used, each for its own 

particular word, and do not stand for n, or o in any other. Moreover, 
they cannot be called ikonographic ; otherwise the guitar would some- 
times signify what it represents — a " guitar ; " nor can they be called 
determinatives, not being used to follow and determine the sense of the 
word, but forming part of it when written phonetically. Nor can they 
be classed among the simple phonetic characters, as they are only used 
in their own words of which they are the first letter, and not in any 
others where the same letter occurs. Of the same kind is the " stand," 
or barred emblem of stability, which with a hand signifies tt "to es- 
tablish," and which is not employed for t in other words. These may 
be called limited initial signs. 

They may also be distinguished as specific signs, while others employ- 
ed for any words are generic. They have been called " mixed signs " 
together with many others, some of which, however, are of a different 
kind, and ought to be placed in a distinct order; as the human liead with 
the mat and two lines reading dpe, " head," or " upon ; " for this is both 
ikonographic and phonetic. It stands for a " head " as well as for the 
letter a, and differs therefore from the guitar and others of limited 
force. This remark applies also to others, that have been ranked 
among " mixed signs." 

Besides the employment of one or more single signs for a letter, 
there were some which stood for words of one syllable, in this manner : 
a sign which was followed by one particular vowel, or consonant, form- 
ing the word, was frequently placed alone (without its complement) for 
the whole monosyllable : thus the hoe " M " often stood for mer (or mar), 
without the mouth representing the r ; and the spiked stand " M " stood 
for the whole or monosyllabic word men, without the zigzag " n," that 
sometimes follows to complete it ; and in mes " born " the first sign 
answering to " m" was put alone for the whole word without the com- 
plementary " s." 

The Egyptians had also a singular mode of placing a sign, represen- 
ting a medial vowel, after the consonant it preceded in the word ; thus, 
for Aan they wrote ana ; for Khons, Khnso ; Canana for Canaan. It 
must, however, be observed that the exact vowel is rarely certain, as we 
are obliged to supply those that are unexpressed ; and in Coptic they 


are so changeable as to give us little help. Sometimes, too, the con- 
sonant beginning a word was doubled, as Ssa, for Sa, or Sals. (Perhaps 
also in Ssiris for Osiris.) 

In hieroglyphics of the earliest periods there were fewer phonetic 
characters than in after ages, being nearer to the original picture-writ- 
ing. The number of signs also varied at different times ; but they may 
be reckoned at from 900 to 1000. 

The period when hieroglyphics, the oldest Egyptian characters, were 
first used, is uncertain. They are found in the Great Pyramid of the 
time of the 4th dynasty, and had evidently been invented long before, 
having already assumed a cursive style. This shows them to be far 
older than any other known writing ; and the written documents of the 
ancient languages of Asia, the Sanscrit and the Zend, are of a recent 
time compared with those of Egypt, even if the date of the Rig Veda in 
the 15th century b. c. be proved. Manetho shows that the invention of 
writing was known in the reign of Athothis (the son and successor of 
Menes), the second king of Egypt, when he ascribes to him the writing 
of the anatomical books ; and tradition assigns to it a still earlier 
origin. At all events hieroglyphics, and the use of the papyrus, with 
the usual reed pen, are shown to have been common when the pyramids 
were built ; and their style in the sculptures proves that they were then 
a very old invention. 

Various new characters were added at subsequent periods, and a still 
greater number were introduced under the Ptolemies and Caesars, which 
are not found on the early monuments ; some, again, of the older times 
fell into disuse. 

All hieroglyphics, including the linear kind, or running hand above 
mentioned, were written from right to left, from left to right, or in 
vertical columns (like Chinese), according to the space it was to fill ; and 
the mode of reading it was towards the faces of the animals, or figures. 

Thus ^ WWD " Phrah, the mighty," and SW " his son who 


loves him," read from left to right ; but if they faced the other way 
they would read from right to left, as in the previous woodcut on 
page 69. This is a general rule, to which there are very few ex- 

The mode of forming the characters of phonetic signs was by taking 
the first letter of the name of those objects selected to be the represen- 
tatives of each sound, thus : the name of an eagle, Akhom, began with 
the sound a, and that bird was taken as the sign for that letter ; an owl 
was chosen to represent an m, because it was the initial of Moidag, the 
name of that bird ; and others in like manner ; which may possibly ex- 
plain the expression of Clemens, to. irpoira o-rot^eta, " the first letters," 
in opposition to symbolic signs. This use of the first letters of words 
necessarily led to the adoption of many signs for the same character, 
and the hieroglyphic alphabet was consequently very large. It is not, 
however, to be supposed that all the signs for one letter were employed 



indiscriminately : the Egyptians confined themselves to particular hiero- 
glyphics in writing certain words ; thus Amun was written | ■^ though 
*— would stand equally well for the mere letters a, m, n. Again, 
onlch, " life," and many others, are always written with the same char- 
acters, so that the initial "T - alone stands for the entire word; and if 
P\ or a»""c are both used for mat, or meri, " loved," and other let- 
ters have their synonyms, these variations are very limited, and are 
adopted with great discretion, though greater latitude is allowed in the 
names of foreign people. Each sign has even been thought to have its 
own inherent vowel. 

Besides the restricted use of synonymous signs, another very impor- 
tant index was adopted for separating words, and for pointing out their 
sense. This was the determinative sign already mentioned, which was a 
figure of the object itself following the phonetic word. A particular 
determinative of kind was also given to objects belonging to a collective 

genus, as the skin and tail ™ of an animal, " las" following a word, 

denoted some " beast," thus 1 il v j ^ na i signified an "ape." 

But the skin, " las" also stood for the word " shin" and it was there- 
fore a specific as well as a generic determinative ; and it was also a de- 
terminative of the god " Besa" They also occasionally accompanied a 
word by another determinative sign having the same sound ; as the 
goose after the name of Apis ; or the stone, " st" that followed the name 
of the god Set or Seth ; &c. 

A group accompanied by a sign signifying " land," ^) pointed out 

some district or town of Egypt ; as another indicative of a hilly country 
stood for " foreign land ; " and a line or tooth f was the deter- 

minative of a " region." Several expletives were also used for various 
purposes; some as tacit signs being placed after substantives, adjectives, 
and verbs, as the papyrus roll, Win , and others denoting verbs of 
action, &c. 

In the formation of this written language the Egyptians began with 
what is the oldest form of writing, representational signs. The alpha- 
betic system was a later invention, which grew out of picture-writing ; 
for, as drawing is older than writing, so picture-writing is older than al- 
phabetic characters, and, as Bacon justly observes, " hieroglyphics pre- 
ceded letters." But the Egyptians in their representational signs, did 
not confine themselves to the simple delineation of the object, merely in 


order to signify itself; this would not have given them a written lan- 
guage ; they went farther, and represented ideas also, for two legs, not 
only signified what they represented, but implied the notion of " walk- 
ing," or " motion ;" and the former meaning might be pointed out by a 
particular mark, which showed that the object was to be taken in a 

positive sense : thus _j± signified " walking," but — -^ was read 

" legs," which, in older times, was made by two separate legs ; and a 
bull signified " strong," but when followed by a half-circle and a line, it 
read simply " a bull." 

The plural number was marked by the same object thrice repeated, 

"god," j "gods," or by three lines following it, 1 1 ; but 

the Egyptians had no dual. (Of their mode of writing numbers, see n. 
5 on ch. 36, B. ii.) A circle or sieve, with two short lines within or be- 
low, signified " twice" ^/ # The female sign was a small half-circle ^* 

after the word (whether singular or plural) : thus an egg or a goose, 
signifying a " sow," when followed by a half-circle, read " daughter." 

By certain combinations they portrayed an abstract idea, and a verb 
of action was indicated by the phonetic characters that formed it being 

followed by an object representing the action: as < ~ > I J>?^' 

u rimi," with an eye and tears flowing from it, signified " (to) weep" as 
well as " weeping," or " lamentation ; " the word mounkh, followed by a 


mallet ***** implied " (to) work " or " build," or any " work ; " 

followed by the valve of a door, was " (to) open" jS^j , though this 


hare and zigzag line without the valve would be a tense of the verb 
" to be." 

Sometimes the phonetic word was omitted, and the determinative 
sign alone portrayed the idea, as a pair of eyes signified " to see " (without 
the word mm) ; a cerastes snake going into a hole signified " to enter," as 
its reversed position meant " to come out ;" and many others of a similar 
kind. It sometimes happened (as in other languages) that the same name 
applied to two different objects, and then the same hieroglyphic stood 
for both, as ^^ neb for " lord," and niben, " all ;" vri signified an " eye " 
and " to make ; " and, as Dr. Young says, however much Warburton's 
indignation might be excited by this child's system, it is, after all, only 
one of the simple processes through which a written language may vory 
naturally be supposed to advance towards a more perfect development. 
Emblems were also extensively employed : as the asp signified a goddess : 

ter : as 


the crowns of upper and lower Egypt the dominion of those two dis- 
tricts ; and several of the gods were known by the peculiar emblems 
chosen to represent them, — the ibis or the cynocephalus being put for 
the god Thoth ; a square-eared fabulous animal for Seth or Typhon ; the 
hawk for Re and Horus; the jackal for Anubis; and others. 

But however ingeniously numerous signs were introduced to Com- 
plete the sense, their mode of expressing abstract ideas was very imper- 
fect ; and another step was required beyond the use of homophonous 
words, emblems, and positive representations of objects. This was the 
invention of the phonetic system already noticed (p. 260), which was 
evidently allied to the adoption of words of the same sound, the initial 
being taken instead of the whole word. Thus, when the names of ob- 
jects began with a similar sound, either of them stood for the same let- 

«k and ' for m ; a hoe and a tank of water for m ; )j£ 

siou, " a star ; " a goose, sen, for s, &c. Here, as already shown, is the 
germ of alphabetic writing ; and that a similar picture-writing was the 
origin of the Phoenician and the Hebrew, is proved by the latter having 
retained the names of the objects after their form could no longer be 
traced; aleph, beth, and gimel, signifying the "bull" ("chief," or 
" head "), the " house," and the " camel." The names of these are also 
traced in the alpha, beta, gamma of the Greeks, who borrowed their let- 
ters from the Phoenicians. 

It is not possible in so short a space to give even a summary of 
the grammar of hieroglyphics ; for this I must refer to Champollion's 
Grammaire Egyptienne ; and I shall merely observe that, 1st, in 
combiniDg the pronouns with a verb, a sitting figure of a man (or of a 
woman, or of a king) for " I " (or a small vertical line, or a reed-head, 
before the verb), a basket with a ring for " thou," a cerastes for " he," 
the bolt, or broken line, (" s ") for " she," and others, followed the verb, 

in this manner :— "I say;" or A ! R "I gi ye 5 " 

"he says;" ^di 1 "she says;" 

we say; " ^ \ "you 

they say ; " and these same signs are also put for 


the various cases of the personal and possessive pronouns, wherever they 
are required. 

2nd. The perfect tense is marked by n after the verb, and before the 

pronouns : thus ^^-"^ « he makes " becomes >wvaaa. « ^ e ma de," 
or " he has made ; " and the mode of expressing the passive is by add- 
ing ton: thus III 1 1 mes,* " born," becomes 111 I |£*im mestou-f, 


or mesout-f, " he was born " (natus est). We also find mesntou-f, (natus 
erat, or fuerat). 

3rd. The future is formed by the auxiliary verb ao (or an), " to 

be," followed by the month <Q T I m^Tti <: ^ > "for;" as 


" I am for to make," or " I will make." M. de Rouge also shows that 
the future is formed by prefixing tu to the root. 

4th. The imperative mood is marked by the interjection " Oh," 
a figure holding forth one arm in the act of calling, 

or by the word " hoi''' 1 ■— . 

word ma. 


i^WiV or by the _X 

5th. In the subjunctive the verb immediately follows a tense 
of the verb " to give," as (Osiris) " give thou that I may see " 

^P ; or the verb is preceded by n, " for," 

that," as r^ " that thou mayst see." 

* Mas is " son" in Berber ; and perhaps in Numidian, as in Masinissa. 


6th. In the optative the verb is preceded by the word 
mai. 7th. The infinitive is formed by prefixing er to the 


8th. The participle present is generally determined by a cerastes 
following it, or by a bolt, or broken line (" s "), for a female ; and the 

same is expressed by nt, " who : '• as ^& " who saves," of 

"saving" (saviour); the plural by "«" V or ^k H instead or 

fill JTb 

ei sen." The participle past is formed by adding " out " or " tou " 

" established." 

«- : -iT* 

9th. The negative sign is a pair of extended arms with the palms of 
the hands downwards ezr** * * %. % preceding the verb. 

From this may also be seen how the phonetic letters were used ; but 
even after their introduction the old representational picture-writing 
was not abandoned ; the names of objects, though written phonetically, 
were often followed, as already shown, by the object itself; and though 
they had made the first step towards alphabetic writing, they never 
adopted that system which requires each letter to have only one sign to 
represent it ; and it was not till Christianity introduced the Coptic, 
which was a compound of Egyptian and Greek, that pure alphabetic 
writing became practised in Egypt. 

It has long been a question what people first invented alphabetic 
writing. Pliny says, " Ipsa gens Phcenicum in gloria magna literarum 
inventionis" (v. 12) ; and Quintus Curtius gives the honour to the Tyr- 
ians ; Diodorus to the Syrians ; and Berosus, according to Polyhistor, 
makes Oannes teach it, with every kind of art and science, to the Baby- 
lonians (Eusebius, Chron. v. 8) ; all of which point to the same Phoe- 
nician origin. And if the Egyptians called themselves the inventors 
(Tacitus, Ann. xi. 14), and ascribed them to Menon (as Pliny says, 
fifteen years before Phoroneus, the oldest king of Greece, vii. 56), the 
claim of real alphabetic writing is certainly in favour of the Phoenicians, 
to whom also so many people are indebted for it, including the Greeks 
and Romans, and through them those of modern Europe. For while 
the Egyptians, in the hieroglyphic and hieratic, had (upwards of 2500 
years before our era) the first germ of the alphabetic system, the Phoe- 
nicians, a highly practical people, first struck out the idea of a simple 
and regular alphabet. It was to the old Egyptian mixed plan what 
printing was to the previous restricted use of signets and occasional com- 
binations of letters employed for stamping some documents ; it was a 
new and perfect process ; and if Phoenicia, under the fabled name of 
Cadmus (" the East "), imparted letters to Greece (Herod, v. 58), this 

266 THE DIGAMMA. App. Book H. 

was long before Egypt adopted (about the 7th century b. c.) the more 
perfect mode of using one character for a letter in the demotic writing. 
It is singular, too, that the Greeks imitated the Phoenicians in writing 
from right to left (a Semitic custom differing from the Sanscrit and 
some others in Asia), and afterwards changed it to a contrary direction, 
as in modern Europe ; and it is possible that the Egyptians decided at 
last to confine themselves to that mode of writing from right to left 
from their constant intercourse with their Semitic neighbours. The 
transition from the Phoenician to the Greek may be readily perceived in 
the old archaic writing. (See next page, and on Cadmus see note ' on 
ch. 44.) 

Pliny (vii. 56) says, " Cadmus brought sixteen letters from Phoe- 
nicia into Greece, to which Palamedes, in the time of the Trojan war, 
added four more — ©, H, 3>, X; and Simonides afterwards introduced 
four — Z, H. #, O. Aristotle thinks there were of old eighteen — A, B, 
T, A, E, Z, I, K, A, M, N, O, II, P, 2, T, Y, <$>, and that 0, X were 
added by Epicharmus rather than by Palamedes ; but his <3> should ra- 
ther be the O or Q of ancient Greek. Anticlides states that " fifteen 
years before Phoroneus, the first king of Greece, a certain Menon, in 
Egypt, invented letters, .... but it appears that they were always 
used. The first who brought them into Latium were the Pelasgi." 
Eusebius (Chron. i. 13) says, " Palamedes invented the first sixteen 
letters— A, B, T, A, E, I, K, A, M, N, O, II, P, 2, T, Y, to which Cad- 
mus of Miletus added three others — ®, <£, X ; Simonides of Cos two — 
H, O ; and Epicharmus of Syracuse three more — Z, H, ^, which completed 
the twenty-four." But they all forget that the aspirate and digamma, 
H and F, were among the original letters ; and the double letters and 
long vowels were indicated (as at Aboosimbel) long before the age of 
Simonides. The Etruscans had Z, ®, <l>, X, and no E, * ; and they 
never added H, 12. (See note 3 on ch. 30.) 

It is still uncertain when the Greeks first used letters ; but the ab- 
sence of the written iEolic digamma in Homer is no proof that it ceased 
to be employed when the Iliad was first written, since numerous in- 
scriptions dating long after this introduce the digamma. The style 
varied slightly in various parts of Greece and Asia Minor, at the same 
time. Even if letters were used so soon by the Assyrians, as Pliny 
thinks (" literas semper arbitror Assyrias fuisse," vii. 56), they could 
not have been the origin of those in Greece. Indeed he adds, " alii apud 

JEgyptios, alii apud Syrios, repertas volunt;" and it was the 

" Syrians " (i e. Phoenicians) who had a real alphabet* Nor is there 
any evidence of the characters so much like Hebrew found in Assyria 
having been used at a very remote period. Warburton (Div. Leg. vol. 

* The writings of Moses date at latest in the end of the 15th century b. c., and 
the Phoenician letters were probably much older ; so that alphabetic characters 
were used upwards of 1500 years b. c. The Arian writings are later than this ; and 
Sanscrit, from its letters facing to the left, while the words are written from left to 
right, gives an evidence of its having borrowed letters from a Semitic source. 
They are not turned, as in the later Greek, to suit the direction of the words. 
In Zend the letters face to the left, as the words do ; and some of them appear to 
hear a resemblance to lTioenieian characters. 

Chap. V. 














\ ^*A 

A A 





£ £ 






A^A c 













E e 




\ A 





s z _r 




B t| 





o®e &n 




z i t 






* >) K 












*1 ^AVA 












* * 





O O ♦ D 






T r 











4 1 ? W> 












T f 



+ x 






(See note 3 on ch. 30, and note 4 ch. 36, B. ii. ; and on ch. 59, B. v.) 


ii. b. iv. s. 4) thinks " that Moses brought letters with the rest of his 
learning from Egypt ;" but the old Hebrew character was the Samari- 
tan, which was closely allied to the Phoenician, and evidently borrowed 
from it ; and that too before the Egyptians had purely alphabetic-wri- 

It would be interesting if the so-called Sinaitic inscriptions were 
written by the Israelites, and were the earliest existing instance of al- 
phabetic writing ; but we are not on that account justified in coming to 
such a conclusion ; and to show how unwarranted it is, I need only say 
that I found them (beginning too with the same word so common 
in those at Mount Sinai) on the western, or Egyptian, side of the Red 
Sea, near the watering-place of Aboo-Durrag ; and they appear also at 
W. Umthummerana (in the Wady Arraba), at Wady Dthahal (in lat 28° 
40'), and at the port of E'Gimsheh (near Gebel E'Zayt, opposite Ras 
Mohammed). They must therefore have been of a people who navigated 
the Red Sea, and who frequented the wells on the coast. This was 
long after the era of the Exodus ; and the presence of crosses, and of 
the Egyptian Tau, in some of those at Mount Sinai, argues that they 
were of a Christian age ; for the adoption of the Tail as a cross is shown, 
by its heading the numerous Christian inscriptions at the Great Oasis, 
to have been at one time very general in this part of the East. 

Various materials were employed for writing upon, at different 
times, and in different countries. Among them were leaves, pith, and 
bark of trees, used at the present day (whence liber and charta), papyrus 
or byblus (whence Bible), cloth, bones, skins, leather, stones, pottery, 
metal, wax-tablets, and other substances. 

The Greek name StcfiSepa applied to skins used for writing upon, 
which were adopted by the Persians also (Diod. ii. 32), has been, as 
Major Rennell ingeniously supposes, the origin of the Persian and 
Arabic word " defter," applied to an " account," or " memorandum-book." 
Parchment was invented about 250 b. c. by Eumenes, king of Pergamus 
(whence its name), who, wishing to emulate the Alexandrian library, 
was unable to obtain papyrus paper through the jealousy of the Ptole- 
mies. These Pergamena, the Roman membrana, were either skins of 
sheep, or of calves (vitulina, vellum). Pliny is wrong in supposing the 
papyrus was not used till the age of Alexander ; being common (together 
with the reed pen, palette, and other implements of later Egyptian 
scribes) in the time of the oldest Pharoahs, at least as early as the 3rd 
and 4th dynasty ; he is equally so in saying that when Homer wrote, 
Egypt was not all firm land ; that the papyrus was confined to the Se- 
bennytic nome ; and that the land was afterwards raised ; making the 
usual mistake about Pharos (see note 4 on ch. 5, Book ii.). Of old, he 
says, " men wrote on leaves of palms and other trees " (as now in Bir- 
mah, and other countries), " afterwards public records on lead, and 
private on linen and wax ;" but all this was long after the papyrus was 
used in Egypt. He also describes the process of making the papyrus 
(xiii. 11), and adds (xiii. 12), "the largest in old times was the Hier- 
atic (for holy purposes) ; afterwards the best was called Augustan, the 
second Livian, the Hieratic being the third; and the next was the Am- 


phitheatric (from the place where made). Fannius at Rome made an 
improved kind, called Fannian, that not passing through his hands 
being still styled Amphitheatric ; and next was the Saitic, a common 
kind from inferior stalks. The Teniotic, from the part nearest the rind, 
sold for weight not for goodness ; and the Emporetic of shops, for pack- 
ing, not for writing upon. The outside was only fit for ropes, and that 
only if kept wet .... The breadth of the best is now 18 fingers (about 
9| inches) broad ; the Hieratic two less, the Fannian 10, the Amphi- 
theatric 9, the Saitic less, and the Emporetic (used for business) not 
above 6. In paper, four things must be looked to, fineness, compact- 
ness, whiteness, and smoothness. Claudius Caesar altered the Augustan, 
being thin and not bearing the pen, the ink too appearing through it. 
He added a second layer in thickness, and made the breadth a foot and 
1^ foot, or a cubit. ... It is made smooth or polished with a (boar's) 
tooth, or a shell.' 1 But some sheets of papyrus were much larger than 
the best of Roman time ; the Turin papyrus of kings was at least 14^ 
inches in breadth, which was of the early age of the Great Remeses ; 
and I have seen one of 17 and another of 18 inches, of the time of the 
19th dynasty. (See At. Eg. W., vol. iii. 61, and 146 to 151, 185; see 
n. 4 ch. 36, and n. ' ch. 92, Book ii.)— [G. W.] 




Gymnastic contests. Game of ball. Thimble-rig and other games. Mora and draughts. 
Pieces for draughts. Dice. Other games. 

Gymnastic contests were not confined to the people of Chemmis, and 
contests of various kinds, as wrestling (No 1), single-stick, and feats of 
strength, were common throughout the country, at least as early as the 
12th dynasty. Among their amusements was the game of ball (so much 
esteemed by the Greeks and Romans also), which they sometimes played 
by throwing up and catching several balls successively, and often moun- 
ted on the back of those who had missed the ball (the ovot, " asses," as 
the riders were the /WiAeis, of the Greeks.) (No. II.) They had also 
the sky-ball {ovpavla) which they sometimes caught while jumping off 
the ground (as in Homer, Od. ®. 374). (No. III.) Other games were 
swinging each other round by the arms ; two men sitting on the ground 
back to back striving who should rise first (No. V.) ; throwing knives 
into a block of wood, nearest to its centre, or to the edge ; snatching a 
hoop from each other with hooked sticks (No. IV.) ; a man guessing a 
number, or which of two persons struck him on the back as he knelt, 
perhaps like the Greek KoAAa/^ioyxo's (Jul. Poll. Onom. ix. 7) ; women 
tumbling and turning over " like a wheel," described in the Banquet of 
Xenophon (see At. Eg. W., vol. ii. p. 415 and to the end), for which 
necklaces and other rewards were given (Nos. VI., VIII.) ; thimble-rig 
(No. IX.); raising bags of sand (No. VII.) and other pastimes; among 
which were contests in boats ; fighting with bulls ; and bull-fights for 
prizes, which last are mentioned by Strabo at Memphis. (No. XI.) 
Still more common were the old game of Mora ; comp. " micare digitis," 
the modern Italian mora (No. X. Fig. 1 ; No. XIII., Fig. 2) ; odd and 
even (No. X., Fig. 2) ; and draughts, miscalled chess, which is " Hab" 
a word now used by the Arabs for " men," or " counters." (Nos. XII., 
XIII.) This last was also a game in Greece ; where they often threw 
for the move ; whence Achilles and Ajax are represented on a Greek 

Chap. VI. 





App. Book II. 

vase calling rpia, reWapa, as they play. This was done by the Romans 
also in their JDuodecim Script^ and Terence says : — 

" si ludis tesseris, 

Si illud, quod maxime opus est jactu, non cadit, 
Illud quod cecidit forte, id arte ut corrigas." 

Adelph. iv. 7, 22-24. 






Plato says it was invented by Thoth, the Egyptian Mercury (Phasdr., 
vol. iii., p. 364 tr. : T.) as well as games of hazard. In Egypt 

No. VI. 


No. VII. 

Ealsing Bags of Sand. 

No VIII. 1. 

Vol. II.— 18 

3. Feats of Tumbling. 4. 



App. Book Ii. 

draughts was a favourite among all ranks ; in his palace at Medeenet 
Haboo, Kemeses III. amuses himself by playing it with the women of 

No. X. Fig. 1. Mora 


Fig. 2. Odd and Even. 

4Mm >fln^M?*7i 

No. XII 

Chap. VI. 



his household ; and its antiquity is shown by its being represented in 
the tombs of Beni Hassan, dating about 2000 years b. c. The pieces 

No. XIII. 

Fig. 1. Draughts 


Fig. 2. Mora. 

No. XIV. 

Pieces for the Game of Draughts. 

were nearly similar in form on the same board; one set black, the 

other white, of ivory, bone, or wood, 
and some have been found with human 
heads, differing for each side of the 
board. The largest pieces are l£ inch 
high, and 1^ diameter. 

Dice are also met with, but of un- 
certain date, probably Roman. 

There are two other games, of 
which the boards have been discovered 
in Egypt, with the men. The former 
are 11 inches long by 3^ ; and one has 
10 spaces in 3 rows, or 30 squares ; the 
other 12 spaces in the upper part (or 
4 spaces in 3 rows) with a long line of 
No. xv. Pieces for Draughts. 8 spaces below, as an approach to it 






No. XVI. 

Board of an unknown 



App. Book II. 

resembling the arrangement of German tactics. The men, found in 
the drawer of the board itself, are in 2 sets, and of two different shapes 





No. XVII. 

Another Board. 

(one like our dice-boxes, the other conical, but both solid) ; and one set 
is 10, the other 9 in number ; but the latter may be imperfect. 

There were also other games, not easily understood ; though doubt- 
less very intelligible to the Egyptians who saw them so represented in 
the sculptures. (For the principal Egyptian games, see At. Eg. "W., 
and P. A. At. Eg. W., vol. i. p. 189 to 211.)— [G. W.] 

II ^U- 


An unknown Game. 

No. XIX. 

2. Unknown Games. 




Greeks indebted to Egypt for early lessons in science. Invention of geometry. Survey- 
ing, geography. Early advancement of the Egyptians in science. Thales and 
others went to study in Egypt. Pythagoras borrowed much from Egypt. Heliocen- 
tric system. Revived by Copernicus. Pythagoras and Solon in Egypt. Great 
genius of the Greeks. Herodotus unprejudiced. The dial. The twelve hours. The 
division of the day by the Jews, Greeks, and Romans. The Egyptians had 12 hours 
of day and of night. The week of seven days in Egypt. The Aztec week of nine 
days. The seven-day division in Egypt. The number seven. Division by ten. 
Greek and Egyptian month and year of three parts. 

That the Greeks should have been indebted to Egypt for their early 
lessons in science is not surprising, since it is known, in those days, to 
have taken the lead in all philosophical pursuits. Thales, the first 
Greek who arrived at any proficiency in geometry, went to study there ; 
and his example was afterwards followed by others, who sought the 
best school of science and philosophy. Pliny's story of Thales (who 
was only born about 640 b. c.) teaching his instructors to measure the 
height of a pyramid by its shadow is sufficiently improbable ; but that 
it should be repeated, and believed, at the present day is surprising ; 
and some appear to think the Egyptians incapable of making canals 
until taught by the Greeks. Equally inconsistent is the story of Py- 
thagoras' theory of musical sound ; not only because he had visited coun- 
tries where music had long been a profound study, but because the 
anvil (like a bell) gives the same sound when struck by different ham- 
mers, at least when struck on the same part. 

If Plato ascribes the invention of geometry to Thoth ; if Iamblichus 
says it was known in Egypt during the reign of the gods ; and if Mane- 
tho attributes a knowledge of science and literature to the earliest kings ; 
these merely argue that such pursuits were reputed to be of very remote 
date there ; but the monuments prove the truth of the reports of ancient 
authors respecting the early knowledge of geometry, astronomy, and 
other sciences among the Egyptians. Mensuration and surveying were 
the first steps that led to geography ; and the Egyptians were not 
satisfied with the bare enumeration of conquered provinces and towns ; 
for, if we may believe Eustathius, " they recorded their march in maps, 
which were not only given to their own people, but to the Scythians 
also to their great astonishment." 

The practical results of their knowledge had sufficiently proved the 
great advancement made by them ages before the Greeks were in a 
condition to study, or search after science. It was in Egypt that the 

278 ASTRONOMY. App. Book II. 

Israelites obtained that knowledge which enabled them to measure and 
" divide the land," and it was the known progress made by the Egyp- 
tians in the various branches of philosophical research that induced the 
Greeks to study in Egypt. Those too who followed Thales only varied 
the theories he had propounded, and the subsequent visits of others, as 
Pythagoras, Eudoxus, and Plato, introduced fresh views, and advanced 
the study of Philosophy and positive science on the same grounds, but 
with greater knowledge, in proportion as they went deeper into the views 
of their teachers. It was doubtless from Egypt that " Thales and his 
followers " derived the fact of " the moon receiving its light from the 
sun" (Plut. de Placit. Philos. ii. 28; Cic. de N. Deor. i., and Diog. 
Laert. 8), which Anacreon has introduced into a drinking Ode (19). 

(jlivei) 6 S"'H\ios SaKaaaav 
Toy 5' "UXiov 2eArj^. 

The same was the belief of Aristarchus at a later time (Vitruv. ix. 
4), and Macrobius (on Cicero's Somn. Scip. i. p. 44) says "lunam, quae 
luce propria caret, et de sole mutuatur." 

No one will for a moment imagine that the wisest of the Greeks 
went to study in Egypt for any other reason than because it was there 
that the greatest discoveries were to be learnt ; and that Pythagoras, 
or his followers (Plut. de P. Phil. iii. 11), suggested, from no previous 
experience, the theory (we now call Copernican) of the sun being the 
centre of our system (Aristot. de Ccelo, ii. 13) ; or the obliquity of the 
ecliptic (see note c on ch. 51), or the moon's borrowed light, or the 
proof of the milky way being a collection of stars (Plut. PI. Phil, iii. 1) 
derived from the fact that the earth would otherwise intercept the light 
if derived from the sun, taught by Democritus and by Anaxagoras, 
according to Aristotle (Arist. Met. i. 8), the former of whom studied 
astronomy for five years in Egypt (Diodor i. 98), and mentions himself 
as a disciple of the priests of Egypt, and of the Magi, having also been 
in Persia and at Babylon (Clem. Str. i. p. 304). The same may be 
said of the principle, by which the heavenly bodies were attracted to a 
centre, and impelled in their order (Arist. de Coel. ii. 13), the theory 
of eclipses and the proofs of the earth being round (ii. 14). These and 
many other notions were doubtless borrowed from Egypt, to which the 
Greeks chiefly resorted, or from the current opinions of the " Egyptians 
and Babylonians," the astronomers of those days; from whose early 
discoveries so much had been derived concerning the heavenly bodies 
(Arist. de Coel. ii. 12). Cicero, on the authority of Theophrastus, 
speaks of Hycetas of Syracuse, a Pythagorean, having the same idea 
respecting the earth revolving in a circle round its own axis (Acad. 
Qusest. ii. 39), which Diogenes Laertius says another Pythagorean, 
Philolaus, had propounded before him (Life of Philolaus) ; and Aris- 
totle (de Ccelo, ii. 13) observes, that though the greater part of phi- 
losophers say the earth is the centre of the system, the Pythagoreans 
who live in Italy maintain that fire is the centre, and the earth being 
one of the planets rotates about the centre and makes day and night. 
And if Plato mentions the same, as Cicero says " rather more obscurely," 
yrjv . . . tikovjxivqv 8e Trepl tov Slol 7rai/ros 7roAov TCTa/xcVov (ill Tim. 80, p. 


530), it is probably owing to his having heard of it while in Egypt, 
without giving the same attention to the subject as his predecessor Py- 
thagoras. This heliocentric system was finally revived in Europe by 
Copernicus after having been for ages lost to the world ; though Nicolas 
of Cus long before his time, and perhaps some others, were acquainted 
with it ; and when Peru was conquered by the Spaniards it was found 
that the sun had there long been considered the centre of our system. 

Iamblichus says Pythagoras derived his information upon different 
sciences from Egypt ; he learned philosophy from the priests ; and his 
theories of comets, numbers, and music, were doubtless from the same 
source ; but the great repugnance evinced by the Egyptian priests to 
receive Pythagoras, will account for their withholding from him much 
that they knew, though his great patience and his readiness to comply 
with their regulations even to the rite of circumcision (Clem. Strom, i. 
p. 302), obtained for him more information than was imparted to any 
other Greek (Plut de Is. s. 10). Clemens says (Strom, i. p. 303) " Py- 
thagoras was the disciple of Sonches the Egyptian arch-prophet (Plu- 
tarch says of Onuphis, and Solon of Sonchis the Saite) ; Plato of 
Sechnuphis of Heliopolis; and Eudoxus the Cnidian of Conuphis;" 
and he repeats the story of Plato (Tim. p. 466, tr. T.), of the Egyptian 
priest saying " Solon, Solon, you Greeks are always children " . . . . 
which shows what the general belief was among the Egyptians and 
Greeks, respecting the source of knowledge in early times. Strabo 
indeed (xvii. p. 554) affirms that " the Greeks did not even know the 
(length of the) year till Eudoxus and Plato went to Egypt" at the late 
period of 370 b. c. (See also Diodor. i. 28, and 81, and what is cited b} T 
Eusebius, Praep. Evang. x. p. 480, respecting the visits of several 
Greeks, Clem. Strom, i. 300, and Diog. Laert. Life of Thales, 15 ; and 
Cicero, Somn. Scip. who says " Plato iEgyptios omnium philosophise 
disciplinarum parentes secutus est.") The development given, in after 
times, by the Greek mind to what they learnt originally from Egypt, 
is what showed their genius, and conferred an obligation on mankind ; 
and it is by keeping this in view, and by perceiving how the Greeks 
applied what they learnt, that we shall do them justice, not by erro- 
neously attributing to them the discovery of what was already old when 
they were in their infancy. (See n. 7 ch. 35, n. 6 ch. 51, n. 2 ch. 123.) 

Herodotus, on this as on other occasions, is far above the prejudices 
of his countrymen ; he claims no inventions borrowed from other people ; 
and his reputation has not suffered from the injudicious accusation of 
Plutarch " of malevolence towards the Greeks." 

" The yvw/juov and the 7roAos," says Herodotus, " were received by 
the Greeks from the Babylonians;" but they attributed the invention 
of the gnomon to Anaximander, and that of various dials to Eudoxus 
and others; some again ascribing them to Berosus (Vitruv. ix. 9). 
That the dial was of very early date is evident, since in the days of 
Hezekiah, between three and four hundred years before Eudoxus, and 
about one hundred years before Anaximander, it was known to the Jews, 
as is shown in Isaiah xxxviii. 8, and 2 Kings xx. 16, where the shadow 
is said to have been brought "ten degrees (maluth) backward, by which 

280 THE CLEPSYDRA. App. Book II. 

it had gone down on the dial (maluth) of Ahaz." The Hebrew word, 
" step," " degree," nVyto malh or maleh, is the same as the Arabic ddraga, 
" step " or " degree," and the Latin grains ; and is taken from dlh, " to go 
up." Mr. Bosanquet has explained the manner in which the sun during 
an annular eclipse caused the shadow to go back in what he supposes to 
have been really a flight of steps, and fixes the date of it in January 689. 
At all events the use of the dial was known in Judaea as early as seven 
centuries before our era, and it is not mentioned as a novelty. All that 
Anaximander could have done was to introduce it into Greece, and 
adoption should frequently be substituted for " invention " in the claims 
set up by the Greeks. Indeed they often claimed inventions centuries 
after they had been known to other people ; and we are not surprised at 
the statement of Plato, that " when Solon inquired of the priests of 
Egypt about ancient matters, he perceived that neither he nor any one 
of the Greeks (as he himself declared) had any knowledge of very re- 
mote antiquity." (Plat, in Tim. p. 467.) And when Thales is shown 
by Laertius to have been the first who was acquainted with geometry, 
some notion may be had of the very modern date of science in Greece, 
since he was a contemporary of Croesus (Herod, i. 75), and lived at a 
time when Egypt had already declined from its greatness, and more 
than seven centuries after astronomical calculations had been recorded 
on the monuments of Thebes. Clemens (Strom, i. p. 300) says Thales 
is thought by some to be a Phoenician, and quotes Leandcr and Herod- 
otus; but the latter only says his ancestors were Phoenician (i. 170). 

Vitruvius attributes the invention of the semicircular (concave) dial, 
or hemicyclium, to Berosus, the Chaldean historian, who was born in 
the reign of Alexander, which is reducing the date of it to a very recent 
period. This was a simple kind of 7roXos (for, as before observed, the 
7roA.os is the dial, and yv^oiv merely a perpendicular rod which showed 
the time by the length of its shadow — see note 5 on ch. 109), and it was 
very generally used till a late period, judging from the many that have 
been found of Boman time. It consisted of a basin, Ac/cam, with a hori- 
zontal yvwfjiojv in the centre of one end, and eleven converging lines in 
the concave part divided it into the twelve hours of the day ; the older 
dials having been marked by degrees, probably like that of Ahaz. The 
Greeks marked the divisions by the first twelve letters of the alphabet, 
and the last four of these reading ZH0I, " Enjoy yourself," are alluded 
to in this epigram, ascribed to Lucian (Epigr. 17) : — 

*E£ &pai /aox&ois 'iKavcoTarai, al 8e /a^t' au-ras 
Tpafi/jLaai SeiKvu/xevai, (tjSi Aeyovai fipdrois. 

" Eudoxus," according to Vitruvius, " invented the Arachne (spider's 
web), or, as some say, Apollonius; and Aristarchus of Samos the 
scaphe or hemisphere, as well as the disk on a plane;" which (if he 
means a dial on a plane surface) was a still further improvement, and 
required greater knowledge for its construction. The most perfect 
hydraulic-clock was invented by Ctesibius, at Alexandria, in the time 
of Ptolemy Euergetes II. ; but the more simple clepsydra was known 
long before, being mentioned by Aristophanes, and described by Aris- 
totle (Probl. sec. 16, p. 933), and not being then a novelty. (See Atheu. 


Deipn. iv. p. 174, and xi. p. 497 ; Yitruv. ix. 9 ; Plm. vii. 37, and ii. 
76, on the Horologium.) Herodotus says the Greeks received the 
twelve hours from the Babylonians, and the Jews are supposed not to 
have adopted them till after the captivity. The first mention of an hour 
is certainly in Daniel (iv. 19), where the name sah is the same as now 
used in Arabic ; for though even there (as in iii. 6) the sense might re- 
quire it to mean only " moment," the use of the word " time " imme- 
diately before, shows that sah was a division of time, which is still em- 
ployed by the Arabs in the same sense of " hour " and " moment." 

The Jews at first divided the day into four parts, and their night 
into three watches, and the mention of the dial of Ahaz proves that 
they had also recourse to a more minute division of time ; but no 
hours are specified ; and afterwards, when they adopted them, the num- 
bering of their hours was irregular, as with the Arabs, being reckoned 
from sunrise to sunset. The Greek word wpa was used long before 
hours were introduced into Greece. Homer divides the day into three 
parts (II. xxi. Ill; see note 8 on ch. 173); and at Rome it consisted 
of two, sunrise and sunset, meridies or noon separating the two ; and 
the twelve equal parts were adopted b. c. 291. The natural division of 
the circle by its radius of 60° into six parts, and into six more / - 9 - x 
by the half of those parts, or by the same radius starting f^y\ 
from the second diameter, cd, which crosses the first, ab, at *\sy^>J a 
right angles, may have been the origin of this conventional ^4^ 
division into twelve parts ; as that into three parts may have been the 
division of the circle by the length of its diameter, or 120°. 

The Egyptians had twelve hours of day and twelve of night at a 
very early period, but there is nothing to show whether this division 
was first used in Egypt or Chaldsea. The Greeks, however, who fre- 
quented Egypt from the time of Thales, ought to have been acquainted 
with the twelve hours there, and their intercourse being far greater, 
both for study and for trade, with Egypt than with Babylon, we might 
suppose them more likely to receive them from the former than from 
that inland city ; but an intercourse through Asia Minor may have 
brought them from the Babylonians. 

It has been a question whether the Egyptians had a week of seven 
days. Dio Cassius (writing in 222 a.d.) evidently shows that this was 
the case when he says : — rot? wpas r>}s ^/xepas kcu vvktcSs cltto irpoiT-qs ap£d- 
/xtvos apiSjxuv, kcu iKetvrjv pXv to3 Kpovw SlSovs, tyjv Se cWtra ra> Att, kcu 
TpLTrjv "Apei, TCT(xpTy]v 'HAi'a), TzipvKTr)v 'A<£po8m7, cktt^j/ 'Ep/x,^, KOLL ef3S6pL7]V 
2ieA.7/vr;, Kara ttjv tol£lv twv kvkXwv kcl$' y)v ol klyvirrioi avT-qv vopu%ovcn, kcu 
tovto kcu ai$69 irouqcrcvs 7rao-as yap ovrais Tas recrcrapas kcu etKocnv wpas 
7T€pteX^tov, €vprjcr€L<; rr/v TTp<jiTr\v tt}s €TTLOvcry]<; fjpizpas wpav £5 TOV "HAlOV 
acpLKop.ivrjv kcu tovto kcu eV Zkzivoiv tojv Te.crcTct.pow kcu clkoctlv ojpwv koto, 
tov clvtov tois 7rpocr$€v Xoyov 7rpa£as, Trj ^eXrjvr] rr/v TrpojTYjv ty}<; rptT^s 
r)p.€pas wpav dva^T/creis, k av ovto) kcu Slol twv XoittCjv 7ropevcrr), tov irpocrr}- 
kovtu. kavTrj 3e6v kKctcTTT) Y)p.ipa Aryi//ercu. (Hist. Rom. xxxvii. 19.) This 
agrees with what Herodotus says (ch. 82) of days being consecrated to 
certain Deities, though the fact of the Egyptians having reckoned by 
ten days may argue against it. It must, however, be observed that the 


division of the month into decads must date after the adoption of a solar 
year, and that weeks were the approximate result of the lunar division 
of time, which is the older of the two. Weeks were certainly used at a 
very early period, as we find from Genesis and the account of the crea- 
tion ; and the importance of the number seven is sufficiently obvious 
from its frequent occurrence throughout the Bible. It was common to 
all the Semitic nations and to those of India ; but in China it was only 
used by the Buddhists, who introduced it there ; and the Chinese as 
well as all the Mongolian races always had five-day divisions, and cycles 
of sixty years instead of centuries. The Aztecs of Mexico had also 
weeks of five days, four of which made a month, and the year contained 
eighteen months of twenty days, with five days added at the end, which 
were unlucky ; as one of them was in Egypt. They had also their 
astronomical computation by months of thirteen days, 1461 of which 
made their cycle of fifty-two years, the same number as that of the vague 
years composing the Egyptian Sothic period. 

That the seven-day division was known to the Egyptians seems to 
be proved by the seven-days fete of Apis (a fourth part of the number 
twenty-eight assigned to the years of Osiris^ life) as well as by their 
seventy days' mourning for the dead, or ten weeks of seven days (Gen. 
1. 3) ; and the seven days that the head took annually to float to Byblus 
from Egypt (Lucian. de Dea Syr.), the fourteen pieces into which the 
body of Osiris was divided, and his twenty-eight years, evidently point 
to the length of a week (4X7). The time of mortification imposed on 
the priests lasted from seven to forty-two days (one to six weeks) : ol /xev 
Suotv koll TecraapaKovTa, ol Se tovtojv 7rAeious, ol Se i\.uo~arov$, ovSe7TOT€ fxevroL 
ruiv l-rrra A.€i7ro/A€vas (Porphyr. de Abstin. iv. 7); which shows the entire 
number to have been based on seven, and the same occurs again in the 
forty-two books of Hermes, as well as in the forty-two assessors of 
Amenti. Indeed the frequent occurrence of seven shows that it was a 
favourite number with the Egyptians as with the Jews ; and the Pytha- 
goreans borrowed their preference for the hebdomal division from Egypt. 
There is no reason to conclude the Egyptians had not weeks of seven 
days because they divided their solar month into the very natural divi- 
sion of three parts of ten each ; it would rather argue that the original 
lunar month was divided into seven-day weeks, and that the decad divi- 
sion was a later introduction, when the months were made to consist of 
thirty days. And as the monuments are all of a time long after the 
thirty days were adopted, the more frequent mention of a decad instead 
of the hebdomal division is readily accounted for. Moreover these 
months of thirty days still continued to be called " moons," as at the 
present day. Dion Cassius also distinctly states that the seven days 
were first referred to the seven planets by the Egyptians. (See note 1 on 
ch. 82, and note on ch. 8, B. iii.) 

The Greeks, like the Egyptians, divided their month into three parts, 
and their year into three decads of months, corresponding to the three 
seasons of the Egyptians ; and the Roman month consisted of calends, 
nones, and ides, the periods before each being of different lengths ; but 
they afterwards adopted the division of weeks, giving the names of the 


sun, moon, and five planets to the seven days we now use. The Egyp- 
tians had both the decimal and duodecimal calculation, as the twelve 
hours of day and night, the twelve kings, twelve gods, twelve months : 
12X30=360 days; and 360 cups at Osiris' tomb in Philse; 12x6 = 72 
conspirators against Osiris; and 12x6 = 72, which some fix as the num- 
ber of days of the embalmed ; and instances of both methods of notation 
are found on the oldest monuments of the 4th dynasty. — [Gr. W."| 




Fabulous period of history — Rule of the gods — Name of Menes ; supposed to be Miz- 
raim — Believed to be a real person by the Egyptians, and to have founded Memphis. 
This and Memphis — Egyptians from Asia — Memphis older than Thebes. Precedence 
of Upper Egypt. Earliest notice of Thebes — Absence of early buildings. Contem- 
porary kings — Arrangement of the early dynasties. Uncertainty of chronological 
dates — Date of the Exodus. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd dynasties — Menes and his successors. 
In the 2nd dynasty sacred animals worshipped ; and women allowed to hold the 
sceptre. 4th and 5th dynasties. The same customs in the early Pyramid period — 
Mount Sinai — Shafre built the 2nd pyramid. 6th dynasty — The prenomen of kings. 
7th, 8th, and 9th dynasties — The Enentefs. 11th dynasty — Contemporary kings. 
12th dynasty — Osirtasen III. treated as a god. The labyrinth. The 13th' dynasty 
in Ethiopia. Shepherd dynasties — The Hyk-sos expelled. The 18th dynasty — The 
horse from Asia. Thothmes I., II., and III., and Queen Amun-nou-het. Conquests 
of Thothmes III. — His monuments. Amunoph III. and Queen Taia— The Stranger 
kings — Conquests of Amunoph III. Country and features of the Stranger kings — 
Related to Amunoph. Expelled from Egypt. King Horus. The 19th dynasty — 
Remeses, Sethos, and Remeses the Great — Attack and defence of fortresses — Pithom 
and Raamses — Canal to the Red Sea. 20th dynasty — Remeses III. — His conquests 
and wealth — His sons. 21st and 22nd dynasties — Priest kings. ShesJionk, or Shis- 
hak — Conquers Judrca — Name of Yudah' Melchi (kingdom of Judah). Kings' names 
on the Apis stelae. The 23rd dynasty — Assyrian names of the Sheshonk family. 
The 24th dynasty — Bocchoris the Saite — Power of Assyria increasing. The L'">th 
dynasty of the Sabacos and Tirhaka. The 26th dynasty — Psammetichus succeeded 
Tirhaka — Correction of chronology — He married an Ethiopian princess. War of 
Psammetichus and desertion of his troops. Succeeded by Neco. Circumnavigation 
of Africa — Defeat of Josiah. Power and fall of Apries — Probable invasion of Egypt 
and substitution of Amasis for Apries by Nebuchadnezzar. Amasis — Flourishing 
state of Egypt — Privileges granted to the Greeks — Treaty with Croesus — Persian in- 
vasion. Defeat of the Egyptians — Conduct of Cambyses at first humane. Egypt 
became a Persian province— 27th or Persian dynasty — Revolt of the Egyptians. 
28th and 29th dynasties of Egyptians. 30th dynasty of Egyptians — Nectancbo II. 
defeated. Ochus recovered Egypt. Duration of the Egyptian kingdom. 

The early history of Egypt is enveloped in the same obscurity as that 
of other ancient nations, and begins in like manner with its fabulous 
period. The oldest dynasty therefore given by Manetho is said to have 
been of the "gods and demigods," and the list of the kings in the Turin 
papyrus commences also with the rule of the gods, the last of whom was 
Horus the son of Isis and Osiris. And if in the seven last names that 
remain of that very imperfect papyrus the order of the gods does not 
exactly agree with Manetho, still there is sufficient to show that both 
accounts were derived from the same source, universally acknowledged 
by the Egyptian priests. 

The rule of the gods has been supposed to be that of the priesthood 


of those deities who governed the country before the election of a king, 
like the Judges in Israel ; but all accounts agree in considering Menes 
the first king of Egypt. His name is mentioned in the sculptures of 
the temple of Remeses II. at Thebes, and in the Turin papyrus, as well 
as by Manetho and other authorities ; and though the frequent occur- 
rence of a similar name (as Manes the first king of Lydia, the Phrygian 
Manis, the Minos of Crete, the Indian Menu, the Tibetan Mani, the 
Siamese Manu, the German Mannus, the Welsh Menw, and others) 
may seem to assign him a place among mythical beings ; and though he 
has been thought to be Mizraim, a personification of the " two Misrs," 
or provinces of Upper and Lower Egypt ; yet he was believed to be a 
real personage by the Egyptians themselves, and the events of his reign 
were accepted as undoubted facts. He was represented as having 
changed the course of the Nile, and founded Memphis on the site thus 
artificially made for it, where he began the famous temple of Pthah 
(Vulcan) ; and the change he made in the habits of the Egyptians was 
recorded by a stella put up by Tnephachthus, the father of Bocchoris, 
in the temple of Amun at Thebes ; which pronounced a curse against 
Menes for having induced the Egyptians to abandon their hitherto 
simple mode of life. 

Some might be disposed to doubt whether This, or any city in Upper 
Egypt, was older than Memphis ; and, as the Egyptians were a people 
who immigrated from Asia into the valley of the Nile, might conclude 
that they founded their first capital in Lower rather than in Upper Egypt. 
The whole valley indeed was peopled from Asia ; and to this clay the 
inhabitants bear the evident marks of an Asiatic and Caucasian origin. 
Nor is it necessary to notice the long-exploded notion of civilisation 
having descended, together with hieroglyphic writing, from Ethiopia — 
a country always socially and intellectually inferior to Egypt, and 
where hieroglyphics were only properly written when directly copied 
from it. 

The colour and features, as well as the conformation of their skull, 
show that the immigration was one of those where a new race took 
entire possession of the land, scarcely if at all amalgamating with the 
aboriginal population ; and in this the difference between the later inva- 
sion by the Arabs is evident ; for the old Egyptian character is still 
preserved, and the foreign Arab element has, after a lapse of many cen- 
turies, been mostly absorbed into that of the native race. There is 
always this marked difference between immigration and conquest, that 
in the latter the invaders are only a powerful minority, marrying the 
native women, and leaving the whole working population in the land ; 
though at the same time it is evident that the foreign admixture has the 
effect of changing the features, and even the colour, of the succeeding 
generations, which are retained long after all the other elements are 
absorbed; and this explains the resemblance of character in the ancient 
and modern Egyptians, and the fact of the varied features of the latter 
differing so much from those both of the ancient Egyptians and the 

The monuments at Memphis are undoubtedly much older than those 


of Thebes ; but the precedence always given to Upper Egypt seems to 
prove that some other capital there was older than Memphis ; and though 
no monuments remain at This, still, from its being the reputed birth- 
place of Menes, and the chief city of the Thinite nome, as well as the 
royal residence of the first or Thinite dynasty, it claims the honour of 
having been the oldest capital of Egypt. 

Both Abydus and Hermonthis, as well as other cities, were older 
than Thebes, which is not even mentioned on the altar of King Papi ; * 
and the earliest evidences of the existence of Thebes are the tombs of the 
Enentcfs of the 9th dynasty, and the vestiges of temples built by Amun- 
m-he I. and Osirtasen. It is probable that Thebes succeeded to the 
smaller city of Hermonthis, as This gave place to Abydus ; and the 
absence of early monuments of the 3rd and 4th dynasties in Upper 
Egypt may be explained by Memphis having been the royal residence of 
the then great ruling dynasties ; while the monuments which preceded 
that age, from their insignificance, and the transfer of the capital of 
Upper Egypt to a new site, have not been preserved, or were destroyed 
at the period of the Shepherd invasion. Nor can any argument be 
safely derived from the absence of monuments of a particular era ; for 
at the pyramids there are no records of kings between the 5th and 26th 
dynasties, except the name of Remeses II. on the rock scarped to form 
the area half encircling the 2nd pyramid; and yet several hundred Pha- 
raohs ruled during that interval, many of whose names are found in 
Upper Egypt. Again, no building remains of any early Memphite king, 
even about Memphis and the pyramids, except those monuments them- 
selves and the neighbouring tombs ; and with the exception of these, and 
the Labyrinth, some fragments and small objects, some stela?, and the 
obelisks of Osirtasen I. at Heliopolis and in the Fyoom, nothing is met 
with of old times before the 18th dynasty. This may be reasonably 
ascribed to the invasion of the Shepherds, as the preservation of the early 
tombs may be explained by the feeling common at all times of respect 
for the dead. 

The names of kings and the number of years given by Manetho are 
not all to be taken as of consecutive reigns ; for not only do we know, 
from the authority of Manetho, that there were contemporary " kings 
of Theba'is and of the other provinces of Egypt," but the monuments 
themselves decide this point by the mention of the years of one king's 
reign corresponding with those of another ; and by the representation of 
one king meeting another, generally as his superior ; as well as by vari- 
ous statements in papyri and other documents. The manner in which 
the dynasties succeeded, and were reckoned, has been very ingeniously 
explained by Mr. Stuart Poole (suggested as he states by Mr. Lane) ; 
and by this scheme the difficulty of the great lapse of time required for 
so many consecutive Pharaohs, and the occurrence of synchronous reigns 
have been reconciled. According to it the first nineteen dynasties were 
thus arranged : — 

* In the Turin Museum. 






III. Memphites. j IV. 


V. Elephan tines. 

IX. Hcracleopolites. 







XIV. Xoites. 

XV ) 

X yj S Shepherds. 

1 XVII. 


With regard to the age of Menes and the chronology of the Egyptian 
kings, all is of course very uncertain. No era is given by the monu- 
ments ; which merely record some events that happened under particu- 
lar kings ; and any calculation, based on the duration of their reigns 
given by Manetho, must be even more uncertain than that of genealo- 
gies. Any endeavour to make the chronology of Egypt conform to the 
date of the Exodus, or any other very early event mentioned in the 
Bible, would also lead to unsatisfactory results, since the Bible chron- 
ology is itself uncertain — the different versions of it assigning different 
dates to the same events. If therefore we wish to examine any portion 
of Egyptian chronology with a desire to ascertain the truth, we must 
look for facts rather than depend on what are merely accepted as estab- 
lished opinions ; and be satisfied to wait for further information from 
such monumental records as may furnish us with astronomical data. 
Again, it is difficult to ascertain what periods accord exactly with those 
of other people ; nor indeed, if we knew the very reign in which the 
Exodus took place, could we determine for certain its date ; and even 
the time of Shishak who invaded Judaea cannot be fixed with preci- 
sion. If therefore I abstain from assigning dates to all the reigns of the 
Pharaohs it is owing to the uncertainty of Egyptian chronology ; though 
I am inclined to think that the arguments used by the Duke of North- 
umberland for placing the Exodus after the reign of Kemeses II. have 
greater weight than my own in favour of the reign of Thothmes III.* 

It would certainly be more agreeable to the writer, as well as to the 
reader, of Egyptian history, if the dates of the accession of each king 
and the events of his reign could be described as established facts, with- 
out the necessity of qualifying them by a doubt ; but this cannot be 
done : and if it is necessary to break the thread of the history by con- 
jectures, the uncertain nature of our authorities must plead an excuse. 
Indeed we may be well contented to have any approach towards the 
determination of events that happened in so remote an age. 

[First, Second, and Third Dynasties.] — Menes having rendered his 
name illustrious by improving the country, and even (according to Euse- 
bius) by conquests beyond the frontier of Egypt, was killed by a hippo- 

Mentioned in Chapter ii. of my At. Eg. vol. i. p. 7*7—81. 



App. Book II. 

potamus, and was succeeded by his son Athothis. The long reign of 
Menes, 62 years according to Africanus (or 30 according to Eusebius), 
and that of Kenkenes, 31 (or 39), seem to argue that even in the time 
of Menes, his son Athothis ruled conjointly with him, during the last 
30 years of his reign; and the sum of the two, 30 of Menes and 27 of 
Atliothis, accord exactly with the 57 given by Africanus to Athothis; 
from which we may infer that Menes reigned 32 years alone, and 30 
conjointly with his son, completing the 62 years of Africanus ; and that 
Athothis having ruled 27 after his father's death, his reign was calcu- 
lated by Africanus at (30+27) 57 years. At the same time that Atho- 
this shared the Thinite throne with his father, Nekherophis (or Nekhero- 
khis) was probably appointed to rule the new city Memphis and the 
lower country, and having reigned 28 years (or two less than Athothis 
with his father Menes), Athothis then succeeded to both thrones; and 
the two additional years of his Memphite rule, added to the 27 of his 
Thinite, coincide with his computed reign of 29 at Memphis. For the 
3rd dynasty ruled contemporaneously with the first, being an offset 
from it ; and it is evident that its second king, Tosorthrus or Sesorthus, 
was the same as Athothis : — the latter being " the builder of the palace 
at Memphis, and a physician who wrote the books on anatomy;" and 
Tosorthrus being " called Asclepius, from his medical knowledge, the first 
who built with hewn stone, and a great patron of literature." This will 
be more clearly understood by the following contemporaneous arrange- 
ment of the 1st and 3rd dynasties : — 

1st Dynasty 




82 years alone, 

and 30 with 



27 more 


(31 or) 39 years. 

3rd Dynasty 


28 years 





29 years at 

7 years. 

17 years. 


16 years. 

1st Dynasty 


23 years. 

20 years. 

26 years. 

18 years. 

26 years. 

3rd Dynasty 

— continued. 

19 years. 

42 years. 

80 years. 

26 years. 


The monuments afford us no information respecting the successors * of 
Menes in the 1st dynasty; but if the account in Manctho of the learning 
of Athothis be true ; if " the Libyans revolted in the reign of Nekhero- 
phis, and submitted again through fear on a sudden increase of the 
moon ;" and if Menes changed the course of the Nile (as Herodotus 
states), their power, and the advancement already made by the Egyp- 
tians in science, must have been considerable at that period ; and this is 
further confirmed by Manetho's account of Venephes, who lived little 
more than half a century after Menes, being the builder of the pyra- 
mids near Kokhdme. 

According to Manetho, it was during the reign of the second king of 
the 2nd dynasty, Khaeekhos, or Cechous, that " the bull Apis at Memphis, 
Mnevis at Heliopolis, and the Mendesian goat, were appointed to be 
gods;" and under his successor Binothrus "it was decreed that women 
might hold the sceptre;"! which right led in after times to many 
troubles and changes of dynasties, from the claims of foreign princes, 
both in Asia and Ethiopia, to the throne of Egypt, through their mar- 
riage with daughters of the Pharaohs. 

[Fourth and Fifth Dynasties. — b. c. 2450.] — The names of the kings 
of the 2nd Thinite dynasty are supposed by Mr. Stuart Poole to be 
given in the uppermost line of the Abydus tablet ; and there is evidence 
of some of them having ruled contemporaneously with those of the 4th 
(Memphite) dynasty : the fourth king, Useshf, being found together with 
Soris or Shure, and Menkheres of the 4th dynasty, and with Osirkef 
and Shafre of the 5th ; while some of these, again, occur with Shufu, 
and others of the 4th and 5th dynasties. For the 5th, said to be of 9 
Elephantine (or according to Eusebius of 31) kings, ruled at the same 
time as the 4th Memphites, and 2nd Thinites ; though, from their being 
so frequently found mentioned with the Memphite kings, it may be ques- 
tioned whether they were really from Elephantine, and the name of this 
island was perhaps erroneously substituted for that of some other place 
in Lower Egypt. 

It is not till we come to the kings of the 4th dynasty that we find 
any important records of persons who lived under the Pharaohs ; or 
sculptures illustrating the manners and customs of the Egyptians ; and 
though some names of early kings occur in detached places, on scarabnei, 
and other objects, they do not afford any clue to their arrangement. 

Shure was the leader of the 4th dynasty ; and his name, found by 
Mr. Perring on the blocks built into the northern pyramid of Abooseer, 
shows him to have been the founder of that monument. There are also 
other names of kings at Sakkara, of a very early date, some of whom, 

* Dr. Lepsius places Senofro the third king after Menes ; but he did not live till 
after Shufu, as the tomb where his name occurs was erected some time later than 
the Great Pyramid. 

f This custom, and the influence of women, may have been derived from Africa, 
where they have so often held the sceptre ; and in Upper Ethiopia, as in Western 
Africa, women still form the body guard of a king. The respect paid them, and 
their privileges, are shown by Pharaoh's -conduct to Sarah, by the sculptures, and 
by Diodorus. 

Vol. II.— 19 


as the first Tat-here and Osir-n-re (Sisires) appear to be of the 2nd and 
5th dynasties ; and one of them in the great pyramid of Sakkara is not 
unlike the Ohnubus-Gneurus of Eratosthenes. Indeed it is reasonable 
to suppose, from their greater vicinity to Memphis, that some of the 
oldest pyramids would be in that spot. 

This may be called the Memphite, or the Pyramid,* period. And 
not only does the construction of the pyramids, but the scenes depicted 
in the sculptured tombs of this epoch, show that the Egyptians had 
already the same habits and arts as in after times ; and the hieroglyphics 
in the great pyramid, written in the cursive character on the stones 
before they were taken from the quarry, prove that writing had been 
long in use. The position too of each pyramid, corresponding as it 
does with the four cardinal points, and the evident object they had in 
view of ascertaining by the long line of one of its faces the return of a 
certain period of the year, prove the advancement made by the Egyptians 
in mathematical science ; and all these evidences, being obtained from 
the oldest monuments that exist, introduce them to us as a people 
already possessing the same settled habits as in later times. We see no 
primitive mode of life; no barbarous customs; not even the habit, so 
slowly abandoned by all people, of wearing arms when not on military 
service ; nor any archaic art. And if some clumsy figures have been 
found in the neighbourhood of Memphis, probably of the 3rd dynasty, 
their imperfections are rather attributable to the inferior skill of the 
workmen, than to the habitual style of the period ; and rude figures 
were sometimes made long after the 4th dynasty. 

Whatever may have been the style of construction in the pyramids of 
Venephes, certain it is that in the 4th dynasty, about two centuries after 
Menes, the blocks in the pyramids (of Geezeh), many of which were 
brought from the Cataracts of Syene, were put together with a preci- 
sion unsurpassed by any masonry of ancient or modern times ; and all 
these facts lead to the conclusion that the Egyptians had already made 
very great progress in the arts of civilization before the age of Menes, 
and perhaps before they immigrated into the Valley of the Nile. In 
the tombs of the Pyramid-period are represented the same fowling and 
fishing scenes; the rearing of cattle, and wild animals of the desert; 
the scribes using the same kind of reed, for writing on the papyrus an 
inventory of the estate which was to be presented to the owner ; the 
same boats, though rigged with a double mast instead of the single one 
of later times ; the same mode of preparing for the entertainment of 
guests ; the same introduction of music and dancing ; the same trades, 
as glass-Mowers, cabinet makers, and others ; as well as similar agricul- 
tural scenes, implements, and granaries. We also see the same costume 
of the priests ; and the prophet, or Sam, with his leopards' skin dress ; 
and the painted sculptures are both in relief and intaglio. And if some 
changes took place, they were only such as necessarily happen in all 
ages, and were far less marked than in other countries. 

* Dr. Lepsius mentions 67 Pyramids, which necessarily represent a large num- 
ber of kings ; but it is unfortunate that the 67 Egyptian Pyramids caunot now be 


The greatest difference observable is in the form, and in some of the 
ornamental decorations, of the tombs; though these are not owing to 
any inferiority in taste, or masonic skill, but rather to a local style, 
which differed in certain peculiarities from that of Upper Egypt. They 
are sometimes attributable to the periol to which they belong; for the 
peculiar doorways, and the round lintels, of the Memphite necropolis, 
are also met with in the Thebaid, and at Raaineh, some tombs exhibit 
these and other features common to their contemporaries at the pyra- 

In the Pyramid-period one remarkable fact may also be noticed, 
that the Egyptian sculptors were not bound so rigidly to conventional 
forms in the human figure, as in after times ; for not only do their 
statues then bear a closer resemblance to nature, but the delineation of 
the muscles, as in the arms and legs, was more decided ; and the sitting 
figure of a scribe brought from Memphis (and now in the Louvre) shows 
how much more reality was given to the human form, than at a later 
(which was a more conventional) age. That figure, which has far greater 
truth and expression than any of (what is considered) the best period — 
the 18th and 19th dynasties — bears testimony to the skill of the early 
sculptors ; and the style of the hieroglyphics, and the drawing of the 
cattle and other animals, in the tombs, are often fully equal to those in 
after times. Thus then no signs are found, on the earliest monuments, 
of a progress from infancy to the more advanced stages of art ; as noth- 
ing in the customs they represent shows the social condition of the 
Egyptians to have been very different at that early period. 

At the beginning of the 4th dynasty, the peninsula of Mount Sinai 
was already in the possession of the Egyptians, and its copper-mines 
were worked by them ; and from the fact of King Shure (Soris) being 
represented at Wady Maghara slaying an Asiatic enemy of the same 
race as those afterwards defeated by King Senofro (Senofr), we have 
evidence of early conquests ; though they may not then have extended 
far beyond that peninsula. Of the Pharaohs of the 4th dynasty, the 
best known to us from the monuments and from ancient writers, are 
Shure (Soris), Suphis (Cheops), and Suphis II. (or Sensuphis, a " brother 
of Suphis "), the Shufu and Nou-Shufu of the monuments, and Mencheres 
or (Mycerinus) Men-la-re. The two Shufus were the builders of the 
Great Pyramid ; and that they reigned together is shown by the number 
of years ascribed to their reigns; by their names being both found 
among the quarry-marks on the blocks used in that monument ; by their 
being on the sculptured walls of the same tomb behind the great pyra- 
mid ; and by this pyramid having two funereal chambers, one for each 
king, rather than, as generally supposed, for the king and queen. The 
name of Men-ka-re was found in the 3rd pyramid, as his coffin attests, 
which is now in the British Museum. 

The ovals of the four first kings of the 5th dynasty, Osirkef (User- 
cheres), Shafre (Sephres), Nofr-ir-Ke-re (Nephercheres), and Osir-n-r6 
(Sisires), have been found with those of the 4th dynasty; and one of 
them, Shafre, called in the sculptures " of the little pyramid," appears to 
have been the founder of the second pyramid ; but though he ought 

292 SIX TH DYNASTY. App. Book II 

really to answer to the Cephrenes of Herodotus, the honour of founding 
the 2nd pyramid has been ascribed to the 2nd Suphis. His reign was 
long, and the names of more persons of rank, who lived under Shafre, 
are found in the vicinity of the pyramids, than of those who lived under 
the other Elephantine, Memphite, and Thinite kings. 

The names of Pharaohs of the Pyramid-period are not found in the 
Thebaid, and rarely in Central Egypt ; and even where they do occur, 
it is not on any monuments erected by them, but only in tombs of indi- 
viduals who lived in their reigns ; as at Isbayda (nearly opposite Her- 
mopolis), where Shufu and Osirlcef are found together in the tomb of a 
man who was probably governor of the nome at that period. 

[Sixth Dynasty. — b. c. 2240.] — Those of the next, or 6th, dynasty 
of Memphites, are more frequently met with in Central, and even in 
Upper, Egypt, as in the Cynopolite nome, and elsewhere ; and in the 
tombs at Chenoboscion Papi (or Maire) is found, together with Meren-re 
and Nofr-h-re ; and again with the last of these at Beni Mohammed-el- 
Koioor. Papi also occurs at Mount Sinai and on the Kossayr road, 
and even at Silsilis, and with Tati on a rock at Eileithyias ; though in 
the two last instances his name may have been merely inscribed by some 
visitor who lived at that period. Papi or Maire has been conjectured 
by Chevalier Bunsen to be the Mceris of the Labyrinth ; and it is not 
impossible that he may have been the original king of that name. 

Other names, again, of kings of this dynasty are found at Sioot and 
elsewhere, but merely on altars and small objects ; and if those in the 
tombs, and on stelae at Mount Sinai, the Kossayr road and Middle 
Egypt, show their rule to have been extensive, other monuments prove 
that the 11th dynasty reigned at the same time in the Thebaid; and 
king Sken-n-re of this dynasty is stated on a papyrus (according to 
Brugsch) to have censured Papi, who ruled in Lower Egypt, for having 
favoured the Shepherd invaders. But there appear to have been two 
kings of this name ; the Papi, however, answering to the Apappus of 
Eratosthenes, Apap * the " giant," the Phiops of Manetho's 6th dynasty, 
who reigned 100 years, is the one most usually mentioned on the monu- 
ments. Though no buildings remain south of Syene of any king before 
the 18th dynasty, except the ruined temples of Amun-m-he and Osir- 
tasen at Thebes, the Labyrinth, and the pyramids and other sepulchral 
monuments (owing, as I have stated, to the invasion of the Shepherds); 
there are numerous tablets ou the rocks, of that early age, which are of 
greater importance for history and chronology even than the temples, 
from their giving the dates of kings' reigns, and sometimes from their 
recording their victories over foreign nations ; and through these we 
have obtained much information respecting the chronology, and the con- 
temporaneousness of certain kings. 

From these too we learn the change introduced by King Papi, of 
adding a royal prenomen to his phonetic nomen. For before his time, 
each Pharaoh had simply one oval (or cartouche) containing his name ; 
and it was Papi who first added a royal prenomen, calling himself 

* The Egyptian transposition of the vowel may require Papi, or Papa, to read 
Apap. Some think the other Papi to have heen a Shepherd King. 


Miire-Fapi. This innovation was followed by all succeeding kings ; and 
the prenomen was preferred for designating them, in preference to the 
name which often belonged to several kings. Thus the Thothmes, 
Amunophs, Remeses, and others, are more readily distinguished by their 
prenomens than by their name. Kings are also recognised by their 
banner ; or square-title. The custom of adding the prenomen was like- 
wise, as might be expected, adopted by the kings of the 9th and 11th 
dynasties, ruling as they did contemporaneously with those of the 6th; 
and on a coffin of one of the later Enentefs of the 1 1th dynasty, found at 
Thebes, this second oval was added subsequently to the inscription con- 
taining his phonetic nomen, as in the case of Papi at Chenoboscion. 
The last Pharaoh of the 6th dynasty was Queen Nitocris; whose name 
is given by Manetho, and by the Turin papyrus ; and with her ended 
the rule of these Memphite kings. For at this period Lower Egypt was 
invaded by the Shepherds; who, about 700 years after Menes, entered 
the country from the north-east, and at length succeeded in depriving 
the Memphite princes of their throne. 

[Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Dynasties.] — In the meantime 
" other kings " ruled in various parts of Egypt, who were contemporaries 
of the 6th, and of part of the 2nd and 5th dynasties ; while the 7th and 
8th, dispossessed by the Shepherds, merely had a nominal rule in Lower 
Egypt ; and the 9th Heracleopolite dynasty held the Hermonthite 
districts at the same time that the 11th reigned at Thebes, [b. c. 2240.] 
Nor is it improbable that the name Heracleopolite has been substituted 
for Hermonthite ; and the mistake may be accounted for by the names 
of all those kings (except the last) beginning with the characters that 
constitute the title of Hercules, or the god of Sebennytus ; while the 
name of the last, Mandotp, or Muntotp II, is the only one of them deriv- 
ed from Mandoo, or Munt, the god of Hermonthis. At all events it is 
at Hermonthis that the records of those kings, the Enentefs or Ntentefs, 
are found ; and their alliance with the kings of the 11th Theban dynasty 
is shown by some Enentefs having been buried at Thebes. 

Of the 10th dynasty of Heracleopolites we know nothing, not even 
the names, either from Manetho or the monuments ; but the ovals of 
several kings appear in the Turin papyrus, whose deeds not having been 
such as to merit a place in history are unnoticed on the temples and 

[Eleventh Dynasty. — b. c. 2240.] — That the kings of the 9th were 
contemporaries of the 11th, or the earliest Theban, dynasty is proved by 
the fact of the last king Muntotp II. being mentioned on a stela of the 
Kossayr road, together with the first Amun-m-he, whom (as Mr. Stuart 
Poole has shown) he established in the kingdom ; and an Enentef, one of 
his predecessors, has been found by Mr. Harris in some sculptures near 
Silsilis with the third king of this 11th dynasty, Muntotp I* in an inferior 
position to this Theban king. Muntotp I. reigned at least forty-five 
years, as a stela at Turin, erected during his life-time, contains the date 
of his forty-sixth year; and if not the leader of the 11th, or earliest, 

* Whom I have called Manmoph in the Materia Hieroglyphica. 

294 TWELFTH TO App. Book II. 

Theban dynasty, this Muntotp I. was evidently the great monarch whom 
the Diospolite Pharaohs placed at the head of their line ; for the list of 
kings put up by Remeses II., in his temple at Thebes, has no other in 
tervening between Menes and Ames the leader of the 18th, Theban, 
dynasty. Am€s, again, traces from him, as in the tomb at Thebes re- 
cording the members of his family and of that of Amunoph I. ; and 
Thothmes I. and III., Amunoph I. and III., and Horus, as well as 
Sethi and his son Remeses II., all Theban kings, mention him as if he 
were the founder of their line. 

Several stelae confirm the contemporaneousness of the kings of this 
period; and the Turin papyrus shows that Amun-m-he I, the last king 
of the 11th dynasty, according to Manetho, was twice deposed by other 
kings. He was also contemporary with Muntotp II of the 9th ; and in 
the last part of his reign with Osirtasen I. the leader of the 12th dy- 
nasty, whose 44th year coincided also with the 2nd year of Amun-m-he 
II, as the 35th year of Amun-m-he II. corresponded with the 3rd of the 
second Osirtasen. Other synchronisms likewise occur, which it is not 
necessary to notice more fully ; it is sufficient to show that Egypt at 
this period was not ruled by one sovereign, and that the mention in 
Manetho of Theban and " other kings " is confirmed by the monuments; 
and if I have already entered into certain details which may appear 
tedious, I plead as my excuse the importance of these synchronous 
reigns, and of everything relating to the succession of the early kings ; 
which will probably receive further elucidation from the interesting pa- 
pyrus in the possession of Dr. Abbott, containing as it does the names 
of a Sken-n-re, an Enentef, and other kings hitherto unknown to us from 
Manetho and the monuments. 

[Twelfth Dynasty. — b. c. 2020.] — The Osirtasens and Amun-m-hes 
were powerful kings ; and Osirtasen I. is shown by the remains of 
temples he founded to have ruled the whole of Egypt, from the Delta to 
the second cataract: — an obelisk of his still stands at Heliopolis; a 
fallen one is in the Fyoom ; and his name appears in the oldest portion 
of the great temple of Karnak at Thebes, in a ruined temple opposite 
Eileithyias, and in another near Wady Halfeh. Sepulchral stelae bear- 
ing his name have also been found in the Necropolis of Abydos, and 
historical ones in other places; and he even extended his conquests into 
Ethiopia. A stela of the 28th year of Amun-m-he II. was found at a 
watering-place in the desert near Kossayr, recording his conquests over 
the people of Fount, and another of Osirtasen II at the same place which 
was probably connected with the trade of the Red Sea ; and though the 
third Osirtasen has not left the same number of monuments as the first 
of that name, yet many of his stelae are found at Mount Sinai, the Kos- 
sayr road, the first cataract, and other places ; and it is a curious fact, 
that he is treated as a god by some of the kings of the 18th dynasty, as 
by Thcthmes III. at Semneh, and by Thothmes IV. at Amada in Lower 
or Egyptian Ethiopia. 

It is difficult to assign a reason for this unusual honour ; but even 
though the first Osirtasen was the original Sesostris, there may have 
been some events connected with Ethiopia which led to the great respect 


paid to the memory of the third Osirtasen, and which even gave him a 
claim to the name of that renowned conqueror ; and the peculiar sancti- 
ty he enjoyed accords with Manetho's account of Sesostris, that " he was 
considered by the Egyptians the first (or greatest) after Osiris." The 
title " good," introduced into one of the variations of his name, may also 
have reference to this excellence ; and it is possible that his conquests 
in Ethiopia in his 8th year, and the establishment of the Egyptian 
frontier at Semneh, together with his successes over the Negroes, may 
have made him conspicuous as a conqueror as well as a benefactor of his 
country ; and it is to this Sesostris that Herodotus appears really to al- 
lude, when he says he was the first king who ruled in Ethiopia. 

The acts of tbe next king mentioned by Manetho accord still more 
correctly with what we learn from the monuments ; and his Lachares, or 
Labaris, " who built the Labyrinth as a tomb for himself in the Arsin- 
oiite nome," is evidently the Amun-m-he III whose name has been found 
by Dr. Lepsius in that building. Some have thought the name Labaris 
to be tlie origin of Labyrinth ; but it is more probable that the reading 
in Manetho, /xe.y ov Adfxapts, should be fxtV ov Se Mapis; for he was the 
Mceris of the Labyrinth and doubtless of the lake also ; and the observ- 
ations of the annual inundations at Semneh, made by Amun-m-he III 
confirm the belief that he was the king whose grand hydraulic works 
ennobled the name of Mceris.* These last also show that Amun-m-he' 1 ^ 
dominion extended from Ethiopia to the neighbourhood of Memphis. The 
governors of nomes in Central Egypt were also appointed at this period 
by the Pharaohs of' the 12th dynasty, as we learn from the tombs of 
Beni Hassan and El-Bersheh ; where the names of the two first Osir- 
tasens are found. In a tomb near El-Bersheh is given the mode of 
drawing a colossus on a sledge, with gardening and other scenes ; and 
the caves of Beni Hassan are well known for the numerous paintings 
that illustrate so fully the manners and customs of the Egyptians, and 
for the character of their early architecture, with its fluted columns, — 
the prototype of the Greek Doric. 

The oldest date, on the monuments, of Osirtasen If (the Sesonchosis 
of Manetho), is his 44th year; of Amun-m-he II (Ammenemes) his 
35th; of Osirtasen II, his 3rd; of Osirtasen III, his 14th; and of 
Amun-m-lte III, his 44th : showing that of Manetho's dates, which are 
46, 38, 48, 8, and 8 years, the two last are far too little, and that no re- 
liance can be placed upon them ; but his order of these kings, Amme- 
nemes, or Amun-m-he I being the last of the 11th, and Sesonchosis, or 
Osirtasen I. the first of the 12th dynasty, is confirmed by the monu- 
ments and the Turin papyrus. 

[Thirteenth Theban, and Fourteenth Xoite, Dynasties. — b. c. I860.] — 

* It was probably from tbe bigher level of tbe Nile above Silsilis that the canal 
first led the water to the Lake Mceris (and to the general tank system of Egypt) in 
the time of this king ; the river offering a greater fall of water before tbe rocks of Sil- 
silis gave way. See n. 1 ch. iv. and App. oh. iv. 4. 

f The two signs beginning his name, and that of Osiiis, may be a double s; 
and hence Ssiris, or Siris, would stand for s, in ze hi. Siis, Siout, &c, have the 
double s. 


The succeeding Theban dynasty, the 13th, appears to have been de 
prived of its authority, even at Thebes ; and the discovery of the ovals 
of these kings in Ethiopia, many of whom had the Ethiopian name Sa- 
baco, together with the evidence of the old monuments of Amun-m-he 
I. and Osirtasen I. having been thrown down at . Thebes, argue that 
they took refuge in Ethiopia when the Shepherds advanced into Upper 
Egypt, and seized its capital. Manetho indeed relates that the Shep- 
herd kings made long and constant attacks on the Egyptians ; which 
the Pharaohs of the 11th dynasty were still able to withstand; for one 
of them, Amun-m-he III. (as I have just stated), retained all middle 
Egypt, including the modern Fyoom ; and it was probably not till the 
reign of his second successor, the Skemiophris of Manetho, the last of 
the 11th dynasty, that the Thebaid fell into their hands. This, their 
gradual conquest of the country, will account for different periods hav- 
ing been assigned to it, and to the duration of their rule. And the 
flight of the Egyptian kings into Ethiopia is evidently the origin of the 
story told by Manetho, of a similar event ; though his copyists, to suit 
their own purposes, have attributed to a different cause, and to the later 
period of " Amenophis," what really happened during the Shepherd in- 
vasion. Of the 14th dynasty, of Xo'ites, no names are given either by 
Manetho, or the monuments ; though they appear to be mentioned in 
the Turin papyrus. 

[Fifteenth, Sixteenth, and Seventeenth Dynasties — Shepherds. — b. c. 
2031.] — These invaders constituted the 15th, 16th, and 17th dynasties 
of Manetho ; and the statement that the 17th was composed of an equal 
number of Shepherds and Theban kings is evidently erroneous. Their 
occupation of Egypt was probably owing, not to a mere love of con- 
quest, but to the desire of maintaining a right they claimed to the 
throne, through marriages with the family of the Pharaohs, or to an in- 
vitation from some one of the inferior Egyptian princes who had been 
dispossessed of his government ; and either of these would account for 
their having obtained possession of part of Lower Egypt " without a 
battle," and for their having received assistance from some of the 
Egyptians. Nor was their rule like that of a people who had entered 
the country for the sake of conquest ; their religion was different, and 
they treated that of the Egyptians with disrespect; but they were at one 
time on terms of amity with some of the kings of other parts of Egypt ; 
and they so augmented the power of the country they governed, that on 
their expulsion, Egypt, instead of having suffered under their rule, rose 
immediately to that nourishing condition it enjoyed under the Pharaohs 
of the 18th dynasty. But though the power of Egypt was not diminish- 
ed, the people naturally regretted their native princes ; and even if all 
the cruelties said to have been perpetrated by these foreigners were ex- 
aggerated, still their usurpation, and the contempt with which they 
treated the religion of Egypt, made their rule odious and insupportable ; 
so that the name of Shepherd continued for ever to be " an abomination 
unto the Egyptians." 

It is not easy to determine what race of people they were ; and they 
have been variously pronounced to be Assyriaus, Scythians, Cushites 


(or Ethiopians) of Asia, Phoenicians, or Arabians. Manetho calls them 
" Phoenicians," and shows them not to have been from Assyria, when he 
says they took precautions against " the increasing power of the Assyr- 
ians ; " and the character of " Shepherds " accords far better with that 
of the people of Arabia. Indeed the name Hyk-sos may be translated 
" Shepherd," or " Arab, kings ; " hyk being the common title " king," 
or " ruler," given even to the Pharaohs on the monuments, and shos, 
signifying "shepherd," or answering to Shaso, " Arabs." How any of 
the Arabians had sufficient power to invade, and obtain a footing in, 
Egypt, it is difficult to explain ; but it is well known that a people from 
Arabia, called Phoenicians* or the red race, who were originally settled 
on the Persian Gulf, invaded Syria, and took possession of the coast ; 
and similar successes may have afterwards attended their invasion of 
Egypt, especially if aided by the alliance of some of its princes. The 
statement too of Amos (ix. 7), that the Philistines of Syria came 
from Caphtor f (which was a name applied to Egypt), may relate to this 
subsequent passage of another body of Phoenicians iuto Syria, after their 
expulsion from Egypt. 

Having held possession of Egypt 511 (or, according to the longest 
date, 625) years, the Shepherds were driven out by Ames, or Amosis, 
the first king of the 18th dynasty; and the whole of the country was 
then united under one king, who justly claimed the title of Lord of the 
"two regions," or " Upper and Lower Egypt." From that time the 
events mentioned by Manetho, and his succession of kings, freed from the 
confusion of contemporary reigns, might have been clear and satisfac- 
tory, had it not been for the errors (often purposely) introduced by his 
copyists, who endeavoured to mix up the account of the sojourn of the 
Israelites, and their Exodus, with the history of the Shepherds; and 
the similarity of the names Amosis and Tethmosis (Aahmes,| or Ames, 
and Thothmes), added to the confusion. 

[Eighteenth Dynasty. — b. c. 1520.] — With the 18th dynasty com- 
mences a more continuous monumental history of Egypt ; but there is 
no authority from Manetho or the monuments for dividing the history 
of Egypt into the " old, middle, and new kingdoms : " nor was the whole 
of the country ruled by each king of the different dynasties in succes- 
sion, during the period that elapsed from Menes to Amosis. 

Egypt had long been preparing to free itself from the yoke of the 
Shepherds; and weakened by successive defeats, and opposed to the 
united forces of the Thebaid and Ethiopia, under the energetic guidance 
of Amosis, these foreigners were unable to maintain their authority in 
the country ; and an inscription of the 22nd year of Amosis, in the 
quarries of Masarah, saying that stones had been cut there by his order 
for the temple of Pthah at Memphis, as well as for that of Amun at 

* If the Phoenicians are Hamites and Cushites, their coming from Arabia will 
accord with their being thought Arabians, and with the "second" invasion of 
Egypt by a Cushite race (infra, p. 305). 

f Copthor, or Kebt Hor, was the old name of Coptos. (See ch. 15, n. 5 , B. ii.) 
% Aahmes, Iohmes, or Ames, from which were made the names of Amosis and 


Thebes, proves that Lower Egypt had already been recovered from them. 
In the tomb at Eileithyias, of a captain of the fleet of the same name 
as the king (Aahmes), that officer is said to have gone to Tanis during 
his reign ; so that the Shepherds must then have been expelled from the 
whole of the country ; and Apion (according to Clemens) shows the 
Hyksos were driven from Avaris, their last stronghold, by Ames. 
This appears to be confirmed by the inscription at Eileithyias, and by 
Manetho's stating that Tethmosis (improperly put for Amosis) reigned 
25 years after their departure. 

During his reign mention is first made of the horse on the monu- 
ments ; from which fact, and from its being often designated by the 
Semitic name Sus, showing that it came from Asia, it has been supposed 
that it was first introduced by the Shepherd-kings. If so, they may 
have been in a great degree indebted for their successful invasion of 
Egypt to their horses and chariots ; and if they conferred this boon on 
the Egyptians, they may be looked upon as their benefactors and the 
causes of their future power. Certain it is that neither at the tombs 
about the pyramids, nor at Beni Hassan, is there any indication of the 
horse,* though the animals of the country are so numerous in their 
paintings ; and it is singular that in after times Egypt should be the 
country whence horses were imported into Syria by Solomon's traders ; 
and at the time of the invasion by Sennacherib it was in Egypt that 
the Jews were said to put their trust " for chariots and for horse- 

Ames apparently claimed his right to the Theban throne from Jfun- 
totp I. (as already stated),! as his successor Amuuoph I. did from Sken- 
n-rc, a later king of the 11th dynasty; and Amuuoph I. is frequently 
represented with a black queen, Ames-nofri-are, who appears to have 
been the wife of Ames, and one of the holy women devoted to the ser- 
vice of the god of Thebes.J She even had the office held only by 
priests, of pouring out libations to Amun ; and a tablet found by Mr. 
Harris represents Amuuoph I. as the foster-child of this queen, at whose 
court Mr. Birch supposes that Ames took refuge, while preparing to 
expel the Shepherds. Indeed it is the marriage of Ames with her which 
is thought to have united the two families, of the 13th and 18th dynas- 
ties. There was also another queen of Ames, called Aahotp, a white 
woman and an Egyptian, who is represented with the black Ames-nofri- 
are on the same monuments, at Thebes, and in the British Museum, but 
in an inferior position ; and this is readily explained by the greater im- 
portance of the Ethiopian princess. 

b. c. 1498. — The perfect freedom of the country from all farther at- 
tempts of the Shepherds enabled Amunoph I. to extend his dominions be- 
yond the frontier, and succeeding kings of this dynasty added to his 
conquests both in Africa and Asia. It is also evident^ that in his reign 

* See note 2 on ch. 108, Book ii. f Supra, § 13. 

\ Queens seem to have taken this offioe alter the death of their husbands* 
Ames-not'ri-are is styled " Goddess-wife of Amun." 

§ From a sepulchral box from Thebes, now in the Museum at Turin, bearing his 


Chap. VIII. THOTHMES I. 299 

the Egyptians had already adopted the five intercalary days to complete 
the year of 365 days ; # as well as the 12 hours of day and night ;f and 
arches of crude brick are found at Thebes bearing his name, which prove 
that they were in common use in tombs at that period ; though all these 
three were doubtless of much earlier date than the era of Amunoph. 
He also added some new chambers to the great temple of Karnak ; and 
his name frequently occurs at Thebes, especially in tombs belonging to 
individuals who lived in his reign. 

The names of the kings of the 18th dynasty agree pretty well with 
those in Manetho ; but not sufficiently to show that we can rely implicitly 
on him for those in other dynasties, where the monuments fail us as 
guides ; for his second king, Chebron, is not found on the monuments, 
and there is some uncertainty about others even in this dynasty. 

b. c. 1478. — Thothmes I., the successor of Amunoph, has left an in- 
scription at Tombos, in Ethiopia, recording his conquests over the Nairn 
(negroes) in his 2nd year ; and the captain of the fleet already mentioned, 
who was in the service of the Pharaohs from Ames to Thothmes II., re- 
cords his having captured 21 men, a horse, and a chariot, in the land of 
Naharayn, or Mesopotamia ; so that the Egyptians must now have ex- 
tended their arms far beyond their own frontier. And when we find 
that Thothmes I. ruled over the land of the nine bows, or Libya, we are 
not surprised that it should form part of his dominions, since Manetho 
shows that the Libyans were already under the rule of Egypt as early 
as the 3rd dynasty. At Thebes he made additions to the great temple 
of Karnak, where one of his obelisks is still standing ; and other monu- 
ments at Thebes bear his name, as well as that of Thothmes II., who 
made some small additions to the temple at Karnak. But little notice 
is given of the warlike deeds of the second Thothmes, beyond his main- 
tenance of the Egyptian rule in Ethiopia. 

b. c. 1463. — His successor, Thothmes III., made himself far more con- 
spicuous by the numerous buildings he erected in Thebes, and through- 
out Egypt, and by his foreign conquests. But in the early part of their 
reigns, both these princes (the second and third Thothmes) were associat- 
ed on the throne with Queen Amun-nou-het, who appears to have enjoyed 
far greater consideration than either of them, probably owing to her 
having the office of regent. For not only are monuments raised in her 
own name, but she is represented dressed as a man, and alone presenting 
offerings to the gods. Such indeed was her importance, that she has 
been supposed to be a princess who conquered the country, perhaps even 
Semiramis, — who is said by Clemens (Strom, p. 397) to have governed 
Egypt ; or, at least, to have had a more direct right to the throne than 
the Thothmes ; and her title, " Uben-t in the foreign land,"| is singularly 
in accordance with the expression Uben-re, or Ubn-re, " the shining sun," 
discovered by Layard on a fragment at Nineveh, bearing that title of the 
sun in hieroglyphics. She was however an Egyptian princess ; and prob* 

* See Appendix to Book ii. ch. 11, on the use of the year of 365 days, 
f On a mummy case at Leyden, having his name. 

% On a scarabaeus in my possession, found at Thebes. (For that of Nimroud, see 
the Transactions of the R. S. of Literature, 2nd series, vol. iii. p. 176.) 

300 THOTHMES III. App. Book II 

ably the Amensis of Manetho, who is represented to have been the sister 
of Amenophis, and to have reigned nearly 22 years. 

Thothmes III. having attained the requisite age for mounting the 
throne, enjoyed a greater share of the royal power, aDd his name was ad- 
mitted, together with that of Amun-nou-het, on some of her later monu- 
ments ; still he only held an inferior position, and he never obtained the 
chief authority as king during her lifetime. On a statue of this period she 
is called " his sister ;" * but she was probably only so by an earlier mar- 
riage of his father ; and such was the hatred borne by Thothmes against 
her, that after her death he ordered her name to be erased from her monu- 
ments, and his own to be sculptured in its stead. But this was not always 
done with the care required to conceal the alterations ; and sentences of 
this kind frequently occur : " King Thothmes, she has made this work 
for her father Amun." He succeeded, however, in having her name 
omitted from the list of Kings; and she is not mentioned even in those 
put up at a later time by Remeses II. at Thebes and Abydus. The 
most remarkable of her monuments were the great obelisks at Karnak, 
the largest erected at Thebes, one of which is still standing ; and on the 
opposite side of the Nile she embellished the tomb, or rock-temple, of 
Thothmes I., beneath the cliffs of the Assaseef, erecting before it a 
granite gateway, and making many other external additions to its courts ; 
and numerous monuments were put up by her in other parts of Egypt. 
She ruled at least 15 or 16 years,f and alone apparently during some 
portion of that time ; but there is a difficulty in determining the duration 
of these reigns, and the relationship of the two Thothmes. The Third 
ruled for a short time after her death ; and though he commenced his 
reign after she had mounted the throne, he probably included the reign 
of Amun-nou-het in his own. 

The reign of Thothmes III. is one of the most remarkable in the 
history of the Pharaohs. He extended his arms far into Asia, from 
which he received a large tribute, brought to Egypt by the chiefs of 
the nations he had triumphed over ; and who, as was the custom of 
those days, often agreed to make this acknowledgment of their defeat 
without yielding up their country to the victorious enemy as a conquered 
province; J and the successes obtained by Thothmes over the Fount § (a 
nation of Arabia), the Kufa (supposed to be the people of Cyprus), the 
Jiof-n-no, and the Southern Ethiopians, are commemorated on the monu- 
ments of Thebes. The exact position of these countries cannot be 
easily determined, but they are evidently far from the confines of 
Egypt; and the elephant and bear, horses, rare woods, bitumen, and 
the rich gold and silver vases, brought by the Rot-n-no ; the ebony, 
ivory, and precious metals, by those of Fount ; the gold and silver vases 

* Now in the British Museum, found at Thebes. 

\ Her Kith year is found on a tablet in W. Maghara, given by Laborde, and on 
the great obelisk at Karnak. 

\ In some cases a country may have been called conquered (by the Egyptians, 
Assyrians, or others), when in fact a victory had only been gained over its army ; 
perhaps even when that army was beyond its own frontier. 

§ There appears to be a Pount of Southern, and another of Northern Arabia. 
See note \ eh. 102, and note 2 , oh. 108, Book ii. 


of the Kufa ; and the cameleopards, apes, ostrich feathers, ebony, ivory, 
and gold in dust, ingots and rings, from Ethiopia, show the distance 
from which they were brought, as well as the richness of the tribute. 
The tight dresses, the long gloves, the red hair and blue eyes of the Rot- 
n-no* also proclaim them to be of a colder climate than Syria; though 
the jars of bitumen (or " sift" answering to the Arabic zift), appear to 
place them in the neighbourhood of the Euphrates or the Tigris, f The 
beauty of their silver, gold, and porcelain vases, at all events point 
them out as a people far advanced in luxury and taste. 

Other victories are also recorded, in the great temple of Karnak, 
over the people of Asia ; and besides the Rot-n-no, the neighbouring 
Nahray?i (Mesopotamia), Singar, and other countries, are mentioned as 
having paid him tribute ; and he is represented to have " stopped at 
Ninien (Nineveh), when he set up his stela in Naharayn, having enlarged 
the confines of Egypt." J 

Misled by the similarity of the names, Aahmes and Thotkmes (and per- 
haps still more byAah, "the moon," being a character of Thoth), Jose- 
phus makes Manetho say that Tethmosis, or " Thummosis, the son of 
Mi.sphragmuthosis," drove out the Shepherds ; but in another quotation 
from the same historian, he shows that Tethmosis was no other than 
the first king of the 18th dynasty; and we have already seen from the 
acts of Ames, and his immediate successors, that Egypt was already 
freed from those enemies long before the accession of Thothmes III. 
and his Asiatic conquests. § 

The great additions he made to Karnak, and other temples in Thebes, 
and the remains of monuments bearing his name at Memphis, Heliopolis, 
Coptos, Ombos, and other cities in different parts of Egypt, show how 
much was done by Thothmes III. to beautify them, and to commemorate 
the glories of his reign ; and the style, as well as the high finish of his 
sculptures, were not much surpassed at any subsequent period. Indeed 
he seems to have taken a delight in architecture, like Adrian in later 
times ; and he has left more monuments than any Pharaoh except the 
second Remeses. And though in the reversed capitals and cornices of 
the columnar hall behind his granite sanctuary at Karnak, || he displayed 
a caprice consistent neither with elegance nor utility, the pure style of 
his other monuments shows that (like the Imperial architect), though 
occasionally whimsical, he was not deficient in good taste. 

It was during his reign that the two obelisks were made, which at a 
later period were transported to Alexandria ; two others are mentioned 
at Thebes, dedicated to the Sun, which no longer remain; that now 
standing at Constantinople was also made by him ; and the handsome 
one which is now at S. Giovanni Laterano, in Rome, bears his name in 
the central, and that of Thothmes IV. in the lateral, lines. Of his 

* See the costumes of these and other people in woodcuts in note on ch. 61, 
Book vii. -j- See below, p. 302. 

\ For an account of the conquests of Thothmes III. see Birch's annals of that 
king in the Arctueologia, vol. xxxv. pp. 1 16-10(5. 

;f Above, § 18. 

This sanctuary was rebuilt by Ptolemy, in the name of Philip Aridaeus. 


other monuments a very remarkable one is the chamber called " of the 
Kings " at Karnak, where he is represented making offerings to sixty of 
his predecessors ; and not only do stone fragments, but the remains of 
crude brick enclosures, bear witness to the number of his buildings that 
once stood at Thebes. There are indeed more bricks bearing his name 
than that of any other king ; and it is in the tomb, where the tribute be- 
fore mentioned is recorded, that the curious process of brick-making is 
represented, which tallies so exactly with that described in Exodus.* 
His ovals also appear far more commonly on the smaller scarabaei than 
that of any other Pharaoh ; and he is remarkable for the great variety 
in the mode of writing his name, of which I have more than thirty 

In Ethiopia his principal temples were those of Semneh and Amada; 
to the latter of which Thothmes IV. made some additions ; and at both 
places their predecessor, Osirtasen III., of the 12th dynasty, received 
divine honours. f The two temples of Semneh were built at the begin- 
ning of his reign ; and as offerings to the temple made in his 2nd year 
are there recorded, without the name of Amun-nou-het, Thothmes III. 
must have been reigning alone ; which shows that his regnal years were 
reckoned from her death, and were not included in their joint reign ; 
and this would be consistent with the fact of his having been very 
young when first associated with her on the throne. His first campaign, 
however, not occurring till his 22nd regnal year, would argue against it, 
at least on other occasions, and would require him to have reckoned also 
the years of bis divided rule; and his conquests in Asia, mentioned in 
the great tablet at Karnak, date in his 29th, 30th, and 33rd years ; 
though the first of them is styled his 5th expedition. His 6th, in his 
30th year, was against the Eot-n-no. In his 33rd year he appears to have 
defeated the people of Lemanon also, who continued the same war ; and 
this fact, and the name of Ninieu (Nineveh), occurring with that of 
Naharayn, and that of the Ta/ccc, in the same neighbourhood, argue that 
" Lemanon " represents a country farther inland than Mount Lebanon. | 
It is followed by the land of Singar ; and though the mention afterwards 
of the Asi, supposed to be Is, bringing bitumen, appears to place these 
people lower down the Euphrates, § it is probable that most of them 
lived higher up to the North-west. Lemanon is also coupled with the 
Rot-n-no, on a monument of the first Sethi.\\ 

The length of the reign of Thothmes III. was far greater than is 
represented by Manetho, being about 47 years ; and the date of his 43rd 
and 47th years are found on the monuments ; but this difference may 
be attributed to his having shared the kingdom with Amun-nou-het and 
his brother; though the dates of Manetho are very uncertain from 
various causes, and from the inaccuracy of his copyists. Towards the 

* See note J on ch. 136, Book ii. f See above, § 14. 

\ See above, ^ 20, and below, g 25, note. 

§ Herod, i. 179 ; Plin. xxxv. 51. Is (His, or Hit) is nearly halfway between 
Babylon and Carchemish. 

I The chiefs of the Rot-n-no arc said to serve the King of Egypt with their 
labour (bodies, or members) cutting down trees in Lemanon. 


latter part of his reign he appears to have associated his son, Amunoph 
II., on the throne j* but this king was not remarkable for his conquests, 
or the monuments he erected. He made some additions to the great 
temple of Amun at Karnak ; and enlarged that of Amada in Nubia, 
[b.c. 1414], which was completed by his son and successor, Thothmes IV. ; 
and here, on a stela dating in his 3rd year, Amunoph has recorded his 
victories over the Upper Rot-n-no, and the Ethiopians. His name also 
occurs on a fallen block at the Isle of Sal, as well as that of the third 

b. c. 1410. — Thothmes IV. has left few monuments worthy of note, 
except the great sphinx at the pyramids, which bears his name, and ap- 
pears to have been cut out of the rock by his order ; and here again a 
similarity of name led Pliny to consider it the sepulchre of Amasis. 

B.C. 1403. — After the two short reigns of Amunoph II. and Thothmes 
IV., Amunoph III. succeeded to the throne ; but though he calls him- 
self " the son of Thothmes IV., the son of Amunoph II.," there is reason 
to believe that he was not of pure Egyptian race, and his mother, queen 
JIaut-m-sJtoi, was probably a foreigner. His features differ very much 
from those of other Pharaohs ; and the respect paid to him by some of 
the " Stranger-kings," one of whom (Atin-re-Bakhan) treats him as a 
god in the temple founded by Amunoph at Soleb in Ethiopia, seems to 
confirm this, and to argue that he was partly of the same race as those 
kings who afterwards usurped the throne, and made their rule and 
name so odious to the Egyptians. Their attachment to the memory of 
Amunoph is also shown by the great respect they paid to his widow, 
queen Taia, whose name some of their queens adopted; and in one place 
a queen Taia is seated opposite Bakhan, and in another is admitted by 
him " to look at the flabellum of the sun."f The worship too of the 
.sun, with rays terminating in human hands, represented on a stela of 
Amunoph at Asouan, appears to indicate a connection between them ;| 
for it was the very worship established by those Strangers. 

It is probably to this usurpation that Manetho alludes when he 
speaks of the second invasion of Egypt, after the Shepherd time ; and 
the flight of Amunophis into Ethiopia is a mistake arising from the pre- 
vious flight of a king of another name when the Shepherds advanced into 
the Thebaid. The sending of the leprous persons to the sulphur springs 
on the east bank of the Nile is also a misrepresentation of some real 
event ; and that it was not a mere fable is proved by the recent dis- 
covery of those springs at Helwan. 

Certain it is that the Stranger-kings did not obtain the throne till 
after the death of Amunoph III. ; and that his power and conquests 
were very extensive is proved by the monuments, and by the records of 
victories, left by him throughout the valley of the Nile. At Thebes he 
added considerably to the great temple of Karnak, and built the princi- 
pal part of that of Luxor, which is remarkable for its size and beauty : 

* A stela in the Leyden Museum, 
f Lepsius, Denk. Abth. iii. Bl. 100, 101. 

% There is, however, an instance of the Sun so represented in the time of Sethi, 
the father of Remeses II., on a stela on the Kossayr road. 


he also erected a very elegant one on the opposite bank, rendered famous 
by the two large sitting Colossi of its dromos, or paved approach, one of 
which has long been known as the " vocal Memnon." It was perhaps to 
connect these his two temples, on the opposite sides of the river, that 
he made the " royal street " mentioned in the Theban papyri. He also 
adorned the island of Elephantine with small but highly finished tem- 
ples ; and besides that of Sedinga, he built the beautiful temple of Soleb 
in Ethiopia, on the columns of which he registered the names of the 
many nations he had vanquished in Africa and Asia ; thereby proclaim- 
ing that he not only extended his conquests still farther south, but that 
he had pushed the very confines of Egypt at least as far as Soleb. 
Among the Asiatic names are Pount, Carchemish, the fort of Atesh (or 
Kadesh ?), Naharayn (Mesopotamia), and many others. 

From this being a complete record of his conquests, we may conclude 
that the temple of Soleb was erected towards the latter part of his reign ; 
but in one of the temples at Semneh he had previously put up a me- 
morial of his victories over the Negroes (JS^ahsi), in which the Abhet and 
others are mentioned ; and Semneh being then the frontier fortress on 
that side, it was considered a suitable place for such a record.* The 
mode of noticing his successes is characteristic; and we read of " living 

captives 150 head, children 110 head, negroes 350 head negroes 55 

head, children 265 head, total living 740 head .... 300 head .... liv- 
ing head 1052 . . . . " Though he extended his arms much farther south 
than Soleb, and passed Napata, or Gebel Berkel, his lions which were 
found there were not placed by him in that city, but were originally at 
Soleb, as the inscription upon them shows, and were afterwards taken 
by Tirhaka to adorn his Ethiopian capital ; and on one of the large 
scarabaei, so often used by him as records, he makes " his southern 
frontier Kiliee [Kara or ludaa)^ and his northern Naharayn (Mesopo- 
tamia)." In this same record^ the name of his queen Taia is as usual 
introduced with his own ; and the marked respect he always paid her 
might have justified the notion of his having been indebted to her for 
his throne, had not the name of her father Ainia, and of her mother 
Tuia, been mentioned without any signs of royalty. The custom of 
using these large scarabsei as records was much adopted by Amunoph 
III. ; and one of them states the number of lions he slew on a particular 
occasion, amounting to 102 ; and another describes a tank he made, 
3700 cubits long and 700 cubits broad, for queen Taia. 

Besides the remarkable fact that the features of Amunoph III. dif- 
fered so much from those of the Egyptians, his tomb at Thebes is placed 
in a valley apart from those of the other Pharaohs, and in company with 
that of another of the " Stranger-kings " who has been variously called 
Skhaij Eesa, Oaiee, and Ai, whose wife appears also to have been a Taia, 
and who was probably the first of the seven who succeeded Amunoph 
III. on the throne. For it was at his death that they ruled, mostly 

* Brought thence by the Duke of Northumberland, as well as his lions from Gebel 
Berkel, and now in the British Museum. 

f If this was Coloe, it was about 100 miles to the E. or E.N.E. of Axum. 

\ One in my possession, and another copied by Rosellini, mention her father. 


with very short reigns ; and the only ones of note were the second of 
them, Amun-Toonh, and the sixth, Atin-re-Bakhan. The former has 
introduced his name into the temple of Luxor, afterwards erased by 
king Horus ; his name and sculptures occur in a rock-tomb behind the 
Red Convent near Itfoo ; and he is represented in a tomb at Koorna 
receiving the visit of a princess of Ethiopia, with a rich tribute from 
that country. The other, who seems to have changed his name from 
Amunoph IV. to Atin-re-Bakhan, shows, from the number of monu- 
ments of his time at Tel-el- Amarna, Apollinopolisparva, Thebes, and 
Memphis, that his reign was long, and that he extended the arms of 
Egypt into foreign lands. Tel-el- Amarna (supposed to be Psinaula) 
was the capital or royal city of these princes ; but after their expulsion 
its temples were utterly destroyed by the Egyptians, as was every rec- 
ord of them throughout the country ; and king Horus has used the 
stones of their monuments, at Thebes, in the construction of the pyra- 
midal towers he put up on the S. side of the great temple of Karnak. 

The tyranny of these kings, and the change they made in the reli- 
gion, rendered them odious to the Egyptians ; for they not only intro- 
duced real sun-worship, to the utter disregard of all the deities of 
Egypt, but banished Amun, the great god of Thebes, from the Pan- 
theon ; and committed those offences against the religion attributed by 
Manetho to the Shepherds. But in order in some measure to reconcile 
the priesthood to the change, they adopted one of the forms and names 
of the sun already acknowledged by the Egyptians ; and Atin-re, the 
solar disc, an ancient character of Be, was selected by them as their 
god ; and this was partly from its representing the physical sun, which 
they themselves worshipped, and partly perhaps from its name resem- 
bling that of their own deity. For that they were a foreign race, and 
not, as Dr. Lepsius supposes, Egyptians who introduced a heresy into 
the religion of their country, is sufficiently evident from their peculiar 
features and strangely formed bodies ; and it is not improbable that 
they were Asiatic Cushites, or Ethiopians, who from intermarriage with 
the Egyptian royal family claimed the throne they usurped ; and their 
despotic rule is shown by the abject manner in which the soldiers and 
others in their service were obliged to crouch before them. These 
Cushites would accord with the Ethiopians said by Eusebius " to have 
come from the river Indus and to have settled in Egypt " in the time 
of Amunoph; though we are not to suppose that they came from the 
country said to belong to that race to the east of Persia, but rather from 
the Ethiopia of southern Arabia, known in after times as Sheba; and if 
this be true, it may account for the Thebans pointing out the statue 
of Amunoph to the Greeks when they inquired after " the Ethiopian 
Memnon." If Amunoph III. was related to that foreign race, he did 
not become unpopular by making any of those religious changes which 
rendered Bakhan* and others so hateful to the Egyptians ; and Horus, 

* Atin-re-Bakhan, or Akhen-Atin-re (" the votary of Atin-re"). The former 
resembles the Apachnas of Manetho, though assigned to an earlier period; the latter 
accords with Akencheres, placed at the end of the 18th dynasty. 
Vol. II.— 20 

306 KING HORUS. App. BooKn. 

who appears to have been a son of Amunoph, may have reconciled them 
to his rule by reinstating the religion and expelling the " Strangers " 
from the throne. And the fact of the features of Horus being still un- 
like those of other Pharaohs will be explained by his having inherited 
from his father some little of their foreign physiognomy. Manetho's 
account of their invasion, already alluded to, is evidently the same as 
that mentioned by Diodorus, who states that " these foreigners being ad- 
dicted to strange rites in their worship and sacrifices, the honours due 
to the gods fell into disuse;" and that, "having been expelled, certain 
select bodies of them passed over into Greece and other places, under 
the guidance of their chiefs, the most remarkable of whom were Danaus 
and Cadmus." And the resemblance of the name Danaus to Toonh, 
Manetho's mention of the expulsion of Arma'is or Danaus from Egypt at 
this very period, and the story of Danaus introducing into Argos the 
worship of Io (the name of " the moon " in the language of the Argives 
and of the Egyptians), appear all to point to the same event. 

b. c. 1367-1337. — The duration of their rule is uncertain ; but a 
stone in their ruined city at Tel-el-Amarna, on which Thothmes IV.* 
is mentioned by Atin-re-Bakhan, and the sculptures at Soleb, where 
Amunoph III. is worshipped by him, prove that he ruled after both 
those kings ; as the destruction by Horus of the monuments of Bakhan 
and the other usurpers shows they preceded that Pharaoh. 

They are not noticed in the lists of kings given by Manetho and the 
monuments, all which make Horus the immediate successor of Amu- 
noph III. ; though it is possible that they may be represented by the 
five kings placed, according to some versions of Manetho, between Horus 
and the 19th dynasty ; one of whom is the Armais or Danaus already 
noticed. Josephus, Africanus, and Eusebius give them as Achencherres, 
or Acherres; Rathotis, or Rathos; Akencheres, or Chebres; Aken- 
cherres, or Cherres ; and Armais, or Danaus. 

The 36th year of Amunoph III. is found in the sculptures, and he 
was succeeded by his son Horus (or Amun-men-Hor-m-heb), who on a 
monument at Thebes mentions " the father of his fathers, Thothmes III." 
It is at Silsilis, where he is represented nursed by a queen, that his 
features bear so much resemblance to those of Amunoph ;f and in the same 
place mention is made of his victories over the Cmh, or Ethiopians of 
the Nile. The selection of this spot for setting up his triumphal records 
was probably connected with the opening of new quarries, as those or- 
namental tablets of Amunoph III. and Pthahmen at Silsilis were with 
the hewing and transport of stones from that extensive bed of sandstone, 
which supplied materials for so many temples in Upper and Lower 
Egypt. Horus made some additions to the great temple of Amun at 
Thebes, and to other temples of Egypt ; but his reign was short ; and 

* If he was the first who married a princess of that race, this mention of him 
will be explained, as well as the foreign features of his son Amunoph III., and of 
his grandson Horus. 

f Traces of the customs of the Stranger-kings may here be observed in the 
same abject demeanour of the soldiers before Horus, and perhaps in the many em- 
blems of life and power depending like rays from the sun above the king. 


Chap. VIII. REMESES I. 307 

if in the 36 to 38 years given to him by Manetho the whole period of 
the " Stranger -kings " is included, some idea may be formed of the du- 
ration of their rule, which was probably about 30 years. One other 
king, named Resi-toti, or Resi-tdt, [b. c. 1325,] is shown by a stela found by 
M. Mariette in the Apis tomb to have followed Horus. 
He is doubtless the Rathotis or Rathos of Mane- 
tho, according to Josephus and Africanus; but he is 
not noticed in the lists on the monuments. The 18th dynasty lasted 
about 180 years, taking the average of Manetho's lists, or more probably 
210 years; from about the middle of the 16th to the middle of the 14th 
century b. c. It is probable that the Exodus took place in the reign 
of Pthahmen. 

[Nineteenth Dynasty. — b. c. 1324.] — With Remeses I. began the 19th 
dynasty. His reign was of short duration, and the oldest date found 
on the monuments is his second year; but he is remarkable as the 
head of the house of Remeses, and the leader of this distinguished dy- 
nasty. He was of a different family from Horus and Amunoph III., 
and restored the original and pure line of the Diospolites, tracing his 
descent from Amunoph I. and queen Ames-nofri-are.* He has left no 
records of his conquests, and few monuments, except his tomb at Thebes. 
This last however marks the new dynasty, by being in a different locality 
from that of Amunoph III., and by being the earliest one made in that 
valley, which was thenceforward set apart as the burial-place of the 
Theban kings. But the deficiency of his memorials was more than com- 
pensated for by those of his son Sethi I. (Sethos) and his grandson 
the great Remeses, [b. c. 1322,] whose long reigns were employed in ex- 
tending the conquests of Egypt, and in recording them on the numerous 
and splendid monuments they erected in every part of the country. 
And their grand achievements far eclipsing those of the original Sesos- 
tris, the name and exploits of that conqueror became transferred to 
Sethi (Sethos) and his son, both of whom were confounded with him; 
and the resemblance of Sethos, or Sethosis, to Sesostris confirmed the 

In the first year of his reign Sethi overran Syria ; and in order to 
punish those people who had neglected to pay tribute to Egyptf during 
the rule of the successors of the 3rd Amunoph, he took Canaan and 
various strongholds in the country, and re-established friendly relations 
with those who had remained faithful in their allegiance to Egypt. He 
also extended his conquests far into Asia ; and among the countries, 
over which he triumphed, and claimed dominion, are the Upper and 
Lower Rot-n-no, Carmanda, (?) Naharayn (Mesopotamia), and the Khita, 
supposed by Mr. Stuart Poole to be the Hittites, whose stronghold 
Atesh$ (Ketesh, or liadesh), he believes to be Ashteroth-Karnaim. These 

* In one place at Thebes, Remeses worships a triad composed of Amun, Ames- 
nofri-are, and their offspring Amunoph I. 

\ Among them are the people of a hilly country abounding in trees, which from 
its name, Lemanon or Remanon, has been supposed to be Lebanon ; though, from 
its being mentioned with the Rot-h-no, it appears to be farther to the North-East, 
and connected with that people. See above, p. 300. 

% In the land of Amor, Amar, or Omar, thought by some to be of the Amorites. 


last people are also among the vanquished nations recorded in his sculp- 
tures at Karnak, as are the Shaso, or Arabs, Fount, Naharayn, Singar, 
and about forty others ; among whom are the Cushites and other people 
of Africa. Later in his reign he waged war with the Tahai, a people 
whom Thothmes III. had already forced to pay tribute ; and the sculp- 
tures at Karnak show he was then accompanied by his son Remeses, 
who after this was probably sent alone in command of an army against 
the Arabians and Libyans, as stated by Diodorus (i. 53). 

Among the grandest monuments left by Sethi is the great hall of 
Karnak, on the exterior walls of which are many beautiful sculptures 
recording his victories, and his personal valour in killing with his own 
hand the enemy's chief, as well as his return to Egypt amidst the ac- 
clamations of the priests and people. 

He also founded a temple on the opposite bank to his father Re- 
meses I., which like the great hall ojf Karnak, and one of the largest 
buildings at Abydus, was completed by his son Remeses II., who appears 
to have shared the throne with him during the latter part of his reign. 
Many other grand monuments bear his name ; and conspicuous among 
these is his tomb in the valley of the kings at Thebes, which for the 
beauty of its sculptures and of its sarcophagus of oriental alabaster, as 
well as for the richness of its coloured details, far excels the rest of 
those spacious sepulchres ; and if some others surpass it in extent, not 
even that of Remeses V., miscalled by the Greeks and Romans " of 
Memnon," and so highly admired by them, can be compared for beauty 
with the tomb of Sethi. His long reign and life appear to have ended 
suddenly ; for after he had completed this monument, he ordered an 
extra chamber to be added to it, which was never finished ; and the 
figures left in outline prove that time was wanting to complete it. He 
is said to have reigned 51 or 55 years, according to Manetho ; but the 
monuments do not determine the number. 

The reigns of Sethi and his son may be considered the Augustan age 
of Egypt, in which the arts attained to the highest degree of excellence 
of which they were there capable; but as in other countries their cul- 
minating point is sometimes marked by certain indications of their ap- 
proaching decadence, so a little mannerism and elongated proportion 
began to be perceptible amidst the beauties of this period. Still the 
style and finish of the sculptures, the wonderful skill in engraving the 
granite obelisks, the hieroglyphics of which are sometimes cut to the 
depth of three inches, and the grace of the figures (conventional as they 
were) far surpass those of any other epoch; and the Remeseum, or 
palace-temple of Remeses II., " in the western suburb of Thebes " (called 
the Memnonium), is by far the best proportioned building in Egypt. 
It is here too that his colossal statue of red granite of Syene once stood, 
towering above the roof of the temple, amidst the ruins of which it now 
lies prostrate and broken; and this statue was remarkable as excelling 
all others in size and in the excellence of its sculpture, [b. o. 1311]. He 
was the Remeses to whom the title of" Miamun "was particularly applied ; 
and though Remeses III. had the same title, it was in his prenornen, 
not a part of his name; and Remeses II. has therefore the best claim to 
the name of " Remeses-Miamun." 


Distinguished as Remeses was during the lifetime of his father, 
he became still more remarkable after the death of Sethi, by his exten- 
sive conquests, as well as by the numerous monuments he raised 
throughout the country ; and it is evidently by him, rather than by his 
father, that the great works attributed to the Great Sesostris were ex- 
ecuted, for which Diodorus says he employed so many captives — a 
statement confirmed by a record on the rocks at Aboosimbel. It was to 
these his monuments, in particular, that the attention of Germanicus was 
directed by the priests during his visit to Thebes ; and it was from them 
that his guides read to him the account of the tributes levied on foreign 
nations, which, in the words of Tacitus, were " haud minus magnifica 
quam quae nunc vi Parthorum, aut potentia Romana jubentur."* But 
they were very properly shown to Germanicus as the memorials of Re- 
meses, and not of Sesostris. 

It is particularly in the great temples of Karnak and Luxor, and 
at the so-called Memnonium, that the victories he gained over the 
enemies of Egypt are recorded ; the most noted of which were over the 
Khita, one of whose strongholds was protected by a double ditch, and 
by the river on which it stood. The wars waged against that people 
were long and obstinate ; and the extent of their dominions reaching 
from Syria to the Euphrates, and the large force of chariots, and dis- 
ciplined infantry they could bring into the field, rendered them formid- 
able to the Egyptians in their advance into Asia. Nor have the 
sculptures failed to show the strength of the enemy in the attack made 
upon them by Remeses, or the skill with which they drew up their 
army to oppose him ; and the tale of their defeat is graphically told by 
the death of their chief, drowned as he endeavoured to repass the river, 
and by the dispersion of their numerous chariots. This war took place 
in his 5th year,f as recorded at Thebes, and Aboosimbel ; and he was 
probably satisfied in levying a tribute on that occasion, since another 
war broke out with the same people in his 9th } 7 ear ; and the treaty 
made with the Khita in his 21st year, recorded at Karnak, appears also 
to have been consequent upon another campaign. 

It was during the wars with the people of Asia that Remeses in- 
scribed the tablet on the rocks by the road-side above the Lycus, near 
Berytus in Syria,! which, like those of Sennacherib, and others of later 
periods, prove the usual coast road to have passed by that spot, from 
the age of the early Pharaohs to the time of the Romans and Arabs, as 
it does at the present day. The tablets of Remeses^ were dedicated, 

* These records no longer exist, and the destruction of that part of the monu- 
ments that contained them will explain the reason why Thothmes III., with fewer 
conquests than Remeses II., has left more memorials of the tributes he levied on 
vanquished enemies. 

f At this time he had already adopted the additional title, " approved of the 
Sun," in his prenomen. The idea of there being two kings called Remeses, who 
succeeded their father Sethi, has long been abandoned. 

\ M. de Saulcy is incredulous ; but they are still there, .and in his next journey 
he may perhaps be fortunate enough to discover them. 

§ I apply stela? to moveable records, tablets to those on rocks and Avails of 


one to Amun the god of Thebes, another to Pthah of Memphis, the 
other to Re of Heliopolis ; the two former the deities worshipped at the 
capitals of Upper and Lower Egypt, the last the god after whom he was 

Not only do the monuments, but several papyri, record the wars he 
waged with the people of Asia ; and it is in the Sallier papyri that men- 
tion is made of his war with the Khita in his 9th year. The enemies the 
Egyptians had to contend with were mostly the same in the time of Re- 
meses II. as of Thothmes III. ; and the names of the confederate people 
with the Khita are read by M. de Rouge as u Aradns, Masou, Patasa, 
JTaschkasch, Oeeon, Gargouatan, Chirabe, AHan, Atesch, and HaJca.' n Some 
of them were Syrian people ; the Chirabe were probably the ITalebu, about 
Haleb (or Aleppo), but not the Chalybes of Asia Minor; and Atesch 
was a strong fortress in the land of Amar ; and the African Berber i, 
Takrourir* and others he conquered, were among those previously de- 
feated by the third Amunoph. In some of his northern wars Remeses 
was assisted by certain Asiatic tribes, who became allies of the Egyp- 
tians ; as the Shairetana, a people described as living near the sea, a lake, 
or some large river, who continued to be in alliance with Egypt in the 
time of the third Remeses, when he extended the conquests of his pre- 
decessors ; but our limited knowledge of the geograplry of those periods 
prevents our fixing the exact position of these and other countries, men- 
tioned on the monuments. 

Some insight is given into the mode of warfare of that age, as well 
as the means of attacking and defending fortified places. f The scaling- 
ladder and testudo arietaria had long been in use, even as early as the 
Osirtasens of the 12th dynasty. The latter consisted of a long pike 
{terebra or Tpv-navov), and a covering of framework (vinea) supported on 
forked poles, which was sufficiently large to hold several men, and served 
to cover them as they mined the place, or made their preparations for an 
attack ; and it answered both for the " testudo ad fodiendum" and for 
that " quce ad congestionem fossarum paratur" mentioned by Vitruvius. 
While the miners were so engaged, the parapets were cleared by heavy 
showers of arrows ; and the same was done when the pioneers (the balta- 
gis of an eastern army) advanced to break in the gates of the place with 
their axes. In some of these fortified towns there was an outer, or 
double, or even a triple wall ; the ditches being furnished with bridges, 
as at the fort of the Khita represented at the Memnonium ; and the 
abutments of similar bridges are found in the ancient forts of Egypt. 
But these were evidently made of planks, represented in the sculptures 
by a flat surface, which were removed when the garrison had retired 
within the works before a besieging force. 

It was during the repose he took between his different campaigns, 
and after their glorious termination, that Remeses erected the many 
buildings that bear his name throughout the Valley of the Nile. And 
the stela set up in his 35th year, in the great temple of Aboosimbel, 
was placed there long after its completion ; and speaks no longer of 

* Both are names used to this day. 
•j- See note B on ch. 169, Book ii. 


wars, but of the god, Pthah-Sokari, granting to him that the whole 
world should obey him like the Khita; and alludes to his having beauti- 
fied the Temple of Pthah at Memphis. Besides the temples and nume- 
rous statues he put up at Thebes and Memphis, the chief towns of each 
nome, and many of minor importance, were beautified with monuments 
erected by him, or in his honour ; and if he was really the king for 
whom the treasure-cities Pithom and Baamses* were built by the Israel- 
ites,! the unusual splendour with which he adorned the small temple at 
Tanis, where numerous granite obelisks bear his name, will accor